While most of the state is still seeing mostly green conditions, some hints of color are beginning to emerge as Ohio starts its fall color transformation, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)
“We are beginning to see some fall colors in parts of the buckeye state,” said ODNR Fall Color Forester David Parrott. “Most of the fall color people are seeing right now is still patchy, but walnuts, buckeyes, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, and sycamores can be spotted turning yellow.”
Even though some people are beginning to see fall colors, this might not be true fall color. True fall color is primarily brought on by the shortening of the days which triggers the trees to prepare for colder weather.
If the tree is showing its fall hues in the late summer, if the leaves are curled, and if no other tree in the area of the same species is showing color, these are signs that the tree is stressed. A tree can become stressed for a multitude of reasons including insects, disease, lack of moisture, or not growing on its preferred growing site.
It is common to see trees in urban settings change color early because they are often subjected to more stressors than forest trees. Common causes of stress to trees in urban settings include poor quality or lack of soil volume, root compaction, and too much or too little water.
Those interested in finding the most eye-catching leaves throughout the season should check out ODNR’s fall color website, the official guide to the changing colors. The website includes:
- Weekly color updates, a map showing fall color progress and information to help plan a fall color adventure;
- Ideas for scenic road trips;
- Unique overnight accommodations at Ohio State Parks; and
- Fun activities to do around the state.