Fall Foliage

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

October 10, 2018

Fall has arrived in southern Ohio. For many individuals, fall began on September 22 with the autumn equinox. My personal perception of the start of “fall” is the commencement of grain harvesting in the area. Others could debate that the start of fall is when the leaves begin to change color. When the fall foliage reaches its peak, the leaves are certainly a beautiful sight to see.

For many areas in the United States, fall foliage is a large tourist attraction. Vibrant red, yellow, and orange leaves provide a kaleidoscope of colors for leaf enthusiasts to enjoy. However, this year the change in color of the leaves has had a slower start than other years. Deciduous trees, which are trees that loose their leaves at the end of each growing season, have been impacted by the weather patterns we have experienced this year.

Trees and plants survive on photosynthesis to break down chlorophyll. During the summer chlorophyll causes the green color of leaves. As the trees begin to shut down for the winter, the leaves start to change color due to the changes in their chemical compound.

This year, we have experienced a hot summer with steady rainfall. This combination has caused a delay in the start of the color change, and also may cause the colors to not be as vibrant as other years.  According to Christine Gelley, an OSU Extension Educator in Noble County, “color changes are most dramatic in years where summer transitions to fall with a series of warm sunny days, followed by crisp (not freezing) nights.”

In Highland County, some of the trees are beginning to change color, but many of the trees are still a shade of green. Dryer weather, cooler nights and sunny days could increase the rate of the color change in the area. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources publishes a fall color report that is updated regularly. Paint Creek State Park is listed as “changing” colors. Currently, there are several Ohio state parks that are near their color peak, but none are listed as at the peak of color yet. To see the Fall Color Report visit: http://www.ohio.org/season/fall?field_dates_value%5Bdate%5D=09/01/2018&field_dates_value2%5Bdate%5D=11/30/2018.


Upcoming Events

Beef Quality Assurance Training: 

  • Thursday, October 25, 2018, 6:30 P.M., Producer Stockyards, Hillsboro, Ohio

Call your local Ohio State University Extension Office to register for the BQA training. The Highland County Extension Office can be reached at 937-393-1918.

The Global Climate Change Update with Dr. Thomas Blaine from The Ohio State University will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, from 6: 30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. The program will be held at the Brown County Fairgrounds, Rhonemus Hall. The cost to attend is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, contact James Morris at morris.1677@osu.eduor at the Brown County Extension Office at 937-378-6716.

The next Highland County Monthly Extension Program will be held on December 10, 2018, at 10:00 A.M. at the Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro, Ohio. More details will be coming soon, please save the date and plan to attend.

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