Lack of rain may shorten fall foliage season

 By: Chelsea Priest

cpriest@abc6.com

The trees are stressed out according to a local tree expert. The dry weather here in Southern New England that we have been experiencing may be changing foliage season this year. 

Fall is officially here and there is still plenty of green to be seen with some bright pops of color mixed in. Tress are starting to change, it’s just a bit earlier than usual. Matt Largess is a local arborist and attributes the earlier colors to a lack of water. The summer was abnormally dry and now September is running over 2″ below average rainfall. He says, “without H2O you change, and the trees through thousands of years of learning how to adjust, they know what to do.”

Typically trees start to change in early October, this season we’ve seen bright fall colors as early as mid-September and it’s not only an early start, Largess says it may be an early finish. “Trees are under stress and they just turn color, they start to try and drop their leaves earlier, they start to change early. So, I expect it to be earlier and drop soon.”

Far northern New England is near peak and with the lack of rain in the forecast, Southern New England may not be far behind, but hope for a great leaf-peeping season isn’t completely lost. Largess says, “say we do get a little rain, it could turn into one of the great falls, you just have to think positive.”

Largess runs nature walks to see the fall foliage, you can find more information on his site http://largessforestry.com/