Fall Won't Be As Brilliant This Year Because of the Drought

09.10.12 | Sarah Harnisch

The hot, dry weather will hurt fall colors in New York and Pennsylvania. As dry conditions and record-high warmth dominate the weather, some trees are dropping leaves as they transition into an early autumnal color. Experts say it's caused by stress to the trees, and will likely mean less vibrant foliage. Cornell University Plant Science Professor Karl Niklas said quote "I don’t think we’re going to have a very good fall in terms of color”. He said trees get their fall colors when withdrawing nutrients from leaves and storing it in roots and stems. But when conditions are too dry, plants can’t withdraw the nutrients from unhealthy and dehydrated leaves. As of early September, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported 75 percent of New York state was abnormally dry, and 29 percent of the state was experiencing moderate drought. Fall officially starts in 11 days, on September 21st.