After summer drought, how bright will fall colors be? - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

After drought, how bright will fall colors be?

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Fall officially begins this Saturday, and it won't be long before the sight-seers will be out on the trails and country roads, looking for the brilliant color.

After a hot summer with drought, many are wondering just how bright the fall colors will be.

Most of the trees still appear green, but others are already dropping brown leaves during the final official week of summer.

We spoke with Bob Jacksy, a Naturalist with the Metroparks of the Toledo Area.  "If you're dropping a lot of leaves right now, it's more than likely a tree that has been drought-stricken."

Those that have suffered from the drought will *not* be bright.

He added that some of the trees have "shallow root systems - more susceptible to drought."

But in general, most trees are pretty hearty, and the majority are still holding on to green leaves now.

There is still good hope for them.

Over the next 3-4 weeks, Bob says that we'll have a spectacular display of color.

"If we can keep our temperatures at night cool, and the days sunny, it's going to be an incredible fall color season."

Leaves are already becoming bright in northern parts of Michigan and Wisconsin.  Locally, the typical peak for fall color is around the middle of October.

Bob says, "This is about normal. We're starting to see the Virginia creeper, a vine that climbs up the trunks of trees already. It's a beautiful scarlet red. We'll probably begin to see some red maples beginning to change, any day now.... we're doing pretty good."

... So our hope, for the brightest fall colors, is high pressure, which produces bright blue skies and calm, clear, chilly nights.

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