How Climate Change Affects Fall Foliage

As autumn days grow shorter, temperatures cool down, and there’s less sunlight, chlorophyll production slows down then stops as the tree prepares to go dormant for the winter.

Forest Fires

As a natural response, some tree species in the eastern United States are starting to migrate north and west, as a way to avoid fire damage.

The best colors come about in areas where the soil has been sufficiently moist throughout the year.

Too little water impacts when leaves change color, but too much water isn’t great either.


Trees can bounce back, providing they aren’t under water too long.

Deep freezes and intense heat alter precipitation, wind, and cloud cover—all of which can disrupt the brilliant tones of typical fall foliage.

The Arrival of Fall Foliage Across the Country

Given the peculiar weather across the country this year, it’s safe to say that autumn colors may arrive a little off schedule.

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