Fall foliage varies across the U.S., and some of the most stunning is right here in Southwest Ohio. But when is the best time to view it?
The multiple golds, reds, yellows, browns and oranges occur as Chlorophyll diminishes in the leaves and eventually halts. These are actually the “true” colors of the leaves, according to the fall foliage map page at smokymountains.com.
Trees are perennials and must protect themselves against the cold temperatures the winter brings. So they “slowly close off the veins that carry water and nutrients to and from the leaves with a layer of new cells that form at the base of the leaf stem, protecting the limbs and body of the tree,” the Smoky Mountains fall foliage website says.
Minimal foliage is already showing in parts of the most northern United States, and in Canada.
The first week of October is when Southwest Ohio will begin to see some fall colors, according to the foliage map. Around Oct. 9, there will be patchy foliage, and the colors really shine toward mid-October with the peak just before Halloween.
By the first week of November, the Southwest Ohio area will be past peak.
The fall foliage colors could come sooner if the area continues the pattern of having less rain than usual. But that may mean dull colors, according to AccuWeather.com, which also does fall foliage prediction.
AccuWeather says late September and early October will be the best time to see it in New England, the Upper Midwest and the Rocky Mountains. It also predicts mid-September as the best fall foliage viewing in the Ohio Valley.
Brilliant fall colors will appear in the central U.S., coastal mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast in late October and early November.