Fall Color in the Carolinas

Every fall, many people look forward to the colorful display of trees changing color. Although everyone looks for a "peak" when the colors are at their best, there is a long season for enjoying the colors. From the last week in September through the middle of November, you can find bright red, yellow, and scarlet foliage somewhere in the Carolinas. Folklore has attributed this colorful display to visits from Jack Frost, but a series of chemical processes in the leaves create the palette of colors which we see. These processes are triggered by the shorter periods of daylight as fall approaches, and by the cooler temperatures. The weather of the preceding summer usually has minimal effects on the type of fall colors we have. The only "bad" weather for fall color is an early frost, which can shorten the season.

To learn more about the why and how of fall colors as well as which tree and shrub species produce these beautiful colors, see Fall Color in the Carolinas (http://www.clemson.edu/extfor/publications/forlf25/).

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