Rainy summer could bring late, but spectacular fall foliage season

Last fall, colors came early, but were muted because of the drought. Excess rainfall this year could change all that.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Fall foliage season is just around the corner.  Typically in southern New England, our fall colors peak around mid to late October.

Matthew Largess is an ISA certified arborist and founded the company Largess Forestry based in North Kingstown.  Largess says, “People come here from all over the world to see our leaves.  Rhode Island to Maine to Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont.  It’s absolutely stunning.”

Last year, our area was in a serious drought.  Summer rainfall in 2020 was more than 40% below average, and that led to an early foliage season with muted colors because the trees were stressed by the drought.  This year, summer rainfall came in more than 40% above average, and Largess says that could lead to an impressive foliage season.

Largess says, “We just had a monumental rain.  I believe we’re going to have the best fall color because of moisture.  It’s all about moisture and light.  So I feel that it’s going to be probably, no lie, probably one of the greatest fall colors we’ve ever had.”

That said, he also says the season may get a later than usual start because of warm temperatures.

Largess says, “I always like Rhode Island around Halloween.  Halloween’s kind of a peak normally, although we know it can change.  We’ll see on the weather, but I think this year it’s just going to be stunning.  When that temperature starts to drop in the evenings coming up, it’s just going to explode into color.”

Right now, Largess is in Maine.  He says the colors are just starting to turn at the higher elevations there.

Largess says, “Even the little ones that I’ve seen – I’m going to send pictures – are stunning this year.  It just seems seems so much more colorful than normal.”

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