Fall colors likely muted this year

Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't expect to see a lot of vibrant fall colors this year. And when the colors do come, don't expect to see them for long.

The drought Southeast Missouri has experienced dating back to last year is the reason, said A.J. Hendershott, regional supervisor for outreach and education with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Drought causes stress on trees, as do heat waves like the one the area experienced this summer. Couple those conditions with the late April freeze earlier this year, and you have what Hendershott calls a "one-two-three punch" working against bright colors.

"They're going to change; they're just not going to be as eye-popping," Hendershott said.

The peak color time in Southeast Missouri is usually the last week of October, but when trees are stressed that peak might come early.

-- Matt Sanders

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