MDC forester says southeast Missouri fall color is finally on the move

Autumn color is finally on the move, according to Jennifer Behnken, a Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) community forester. 

Autumn color in southeast Missouri is highly affected by the variable weather, which has changed swiftly from hot to cold, she said.

Abundant rain this year made healthy foliage, which was predicted to produce abundant fall colors this year. 

However, the month-long hot and dry spell affected the leaves, causing them to turn crispy, brown out, and fall off prematurely on some trees before true fall senescence, hurting future fall color displays. 

Peak colors often appear in the third or fourth week of October in southeast Missouri. But this year, color change has been erratic.

“Fall colors may be quick in turning this season, here one week and gone the next,” Behnken said. “Stay on the lookout for this change in the next two weeks.”

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