When will fall’s vibrant foliage colors return to western Massachusetts?


SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) — Autumn is a very exciting time in New England. The landscape starts transforming from green to the warm colors of fall.

It’s still summer, but it’s starting to feel like fall. We have some warmer days ahead, but the mornings are noticeably cooler, the days are getting shorter, and locals are turning in their sweet teas for pumpkin spice.

Many of us aren’t quite ready to give up summer just yet, but it becomes a lot easier to do when you know autumn’s vivid reds, oranges and yellows will be here soon. Only a few maples have started showing their yellow leaves, but we have a while until trees reach their peak color.

“We should be at peak foliage here in western Massachusetts around the middle of October. October 12th through the 16th is my guess, as far as peak season,” Alex Sherman, the Springfield City Forester, told 22News.

The rain we saw this spring will help with the vibrancy of colors. The first trees to change are maples and sugar maples which give us oranges and yellows, and of course the red maples. Later in the season, the oaks and hickories change.

“The reds, the yellows, the orange. The typical fall colors…yeah likewise. I think the reds are the big ones. Yeah,” Carl and Lori Reiner told 22News in Forest Park.

Shorter daylight hours spark the leaf change. In the spring and summer, ample sunshine produces chlorophyll in leaves, which gives them the green pigment. The shorter days cause the chlorophyll to break down, and reveal the bright colors below that are there year-round.

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