As for the rest of us farther south, we’ll likely have to wait until mid-October before the leaves start changing across the lower half of the country. Peak foliage across the U.S. will most likely appear between the last week of October and the start of November.
“Once the leaves get to their peak color, they can stay on a tree for maybe to five to seven days-unless there is a really strong storm with heavy rain and 50-mile-per-hour [80-kilometer-per-hour] winds,” Leopold said. (Get details on a leaf-peeping app.)
This tourist activity occurs between the beginning of color changes and the onset of leaf fall, usually around September and October in the Northern Hemisphere and April to May in the Southern Hemisphere.
In autumn when it starts to get cold, some plants stop making chlorophyll. Instead, those plants break down chlorophyll into smaller molecules. As chlorophyll goes away, other pigments start to show their colors. This is why leaves turn yellow or red in fall.
(Good news: neutrals are still “in.”) Amongst your black, caramel, and olive tones from the runways, you’ll find other colorful colors such as blush pink and bold reds. Depending on your taste, you’ll either stick with experimenting with one shade or embrace whole fall 2020 color spectrum.
Five Fall Color Trends from the Runway Sorbet Pink. Imaxtree. Pink has long been a romantic color among the fashion set, but it’s staging a triumphant comeback in a pastel hue this season. Green with Envy. Imaxtree. Earth Tones. Imaxtree. Shades of Gray. Imaxtree. Head-to-Toe Black. Imaxtree.
America’s Best Places to See Fall Colors (That Aren’t in New England) Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Aspen, Colorado. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee. Upstate New York. Denali National Park, Alaska. Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania. Minnesota’s North Shore. The Ozarks.
Best Fall Foliage in the US Northeast: New Hampshire. “White Mountains in New Hampshire – Kencamagus Highway is gorgeous!” – Stephanie C. Northeast: Maine. “Acadia National Park in Maine, of course!” – Darcy G. Northeast: New Jersey. Northeast: New York. South: Tennessee. South: Arkansas. Midwest: Ohio. Midwest: Minnesota.
In a typical year, the first trees to change colors are maples and sugar maples which give us oranges and yellows, and of course the red maples. Later in the season, the oaks and hickories change.
The short answer is that leaves fall off trees when they aren’t doing their job any more. A leaf’s job is to turn sunlight into food for the tree. To do this, the leaf needs water. When the leaf is empty, the tree stops holding onto it and it falls to the ground, or blows away in a gust of wind.
Have you ever noticed that when you cut down a tree, or a tree dies suddenly, the dead leaves stay on the tree for a long time? The leaves go from green to brown but stay on the dead tree branches. However, every fall the leaves die, too, but they first turn colors and then fall off the tree.
Chlorophyll Breaks Down But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.
When the cold snap’s back on, the leaves will be caught with water in their veins, freeze and die. So instead of a food staff that’s resting, the tree is stuck with a food staff that’s dead. That’s why every fall, deciduous trees in many parts of North America get rid of their leaves and grow new ones in the spring.
I’ve never made a study of this subject, nor I know of anyone who has, but just trying to remember from general observation, I would guess the average time to be 2 – 4 days, though some species probably wither in a matter of hours, while there may be others that can hold their moisture for a week or more.
Fall color enriches a road near Tully, New York. Yellow and gold pigments are present in tree leaves throughout the growing season but are masked by green pigments.