CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The fall foliage hasn’t been as bright this year, but if you’ve noticed that it’s lasting longer than normal, you’re not alone.
Many people in New England look forward to our fall foliage, but as we near the middle and end of November, most of the leaves are usually off the trees by now.
There are many reasons why the leaves on the trees seem like they’re sticking around longer than usual. First, certain trees hold onto their leaves longer than other trees.
“Members of the oak family, so a lot of our oak trees, beach trees, oak trees when they’re really young. They don’t form an incision layer or incision zone between the petiole and the twig of the tree, so you’ll see them hold their leaves longer, even all winter long.” Rick Harper, Extension Associate Professor at UMass Amherst
So off the bat, oak trees are likely the last trees to lose their leaves. The second reason is because of how much rain we received this past summer.
The reason the fall foliage isn’t as vibrant in colors this year is because all of the rain we saw during the summer months and that’s actually why a lot of the trees still have leaves on them. With or without the rain, the fall foliage season has steadily been getting a day longer each decade. This year in particular, many people are noticing this difference.
“Usually around my birthday time, most of the leaves are gone, but for this year it was still nice and colorful. I do notice that things seem to be lasting longer, so that’s a nice thing, so more time to enjoy it!!”
This longer fall foliage season is great for allowing more people to enjoy it, but it can create problems when the first snow arrives. Trees with leaves on them during a snowstorm can pose a big threat to the public. They are more likely to break and lose a limb, which damages the tree, but also can create widespread power outages.