Fall color on tap to peak this week

By: 
Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photos

After a warm September, the cooler temperatures and precipitation northern Michigan has seen in October means that peak fall color will occur throughout the region in the next week to 10 days.

 

REGION – Despite the warm temperatures of September, experts are predicting that with the much cooler, wetter weather that October has brought, Mother Nature will show off the best of her fall colors in the next week or two throughout northern lower Michigan.

According to Dr. Bert Cregg, professor of horticulture and forestry at Michigan State University, in general most leaves begin to turn color and drop on a fairly consistent schedule from year to year, thanks to genetically programmed cues.

Those cues are tripped by sudden changes in weather coupled with the shorter daylight of the season.

Once the time span between daybreak and sunset begins to shorten and the amount of daylight diminishes, trees naturally start their preparations for the upcoming winter, Cregg said.

"Sudden drops in the temperature and increases in precipitation can accelerate that process," he explained. 

This year's recent weather conditions means that fall color will peak in Antrim and Kalkaska counties a full week earlier than last year, when dry, warm conditions persisted through much of October, slowing Mother Nature's autumn display throughout the state of Michigan, the professor noted.

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