Weather will impact leaf color this fall

Weather

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — It’s something many look forward to every year the leaves changing colors, lighting up the landscape with a gorgeous array of colors. But with this recent wet weather and the abnormal high temperatures will there be an impact on transition this year?

Derek Veit Superintendent of Forestry Operations at Fort Wayne Parks and Recreations says yes.

“Similar to corn you know if we get wet springs or moist springs and then hot dry summers we can have better fall coverage,” Veit said. “But one thing we need to watch out for is really wet cold windy fall days where you may have had all that color but the leaves are blowing away and it is less brilliant.”

Leaf color is a function of plant pigment present in the leaves. Trees for most of the year have primarily green leaves. This is the pigment of chlorophyll which is important for photosynthesis.

When the temperatures get cooler this causes the chlorophyll to stops producing leading to the leaves to change colors.

“One of the great things about northern Indiana is the different species of trees and the displays we have here,” Veit said.

Hidden behind this green chlorophyll pigment are three additional pigments that impact leave colors:

  • Carotenoides: orange and yellow pigments
  • Anthocyanis: red and purple
  • Tannins: browns

If you have pictures of the leaves changing around where you live you can send them to WANE 15 using the Report It feature.

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