Autumn and Fall Foliage
The Autumnal Equinox occurred on September 22 at approximately 3:21 pm, marking the beginning of fall. While cooler air has been showing itself more lately, the leaves on the trees won’t really start showing their pretty colors for another several weeks. It usually takes overnight lows consistently dropping into the 40s and daytime highs in the 50s and 60s to really get the process going. I have noticed that a few random trees here and there are showing some color already on Delmarva, but most of us won’t reach peak fall foliage until early November.
Fall foliage is the term we use to describe the vibrant colors of the leaves on trees during the fall season. So why do the leaves change color and eventually fall off the trees? The cooler fall temperatures combined with the shorter daylight hours slows the process of Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the trees way of providing for itself (converting daylight into energy) and keeping its green color due to an abundance of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll breaks down as photosynthesis slows, so the green color changes to the pretty colors we typically see in the fall.
Areas north and west see this transition sooner due to the cooler temperatures. The Upper Shore and Mid Shore will see peak fall foliage in late October, while the Lower Shore will see it in early November. That’s just the average, of course these dates can fluctuate a bit depending on the weather.
Keep your eyes open for the pretty fall colors over the next several weeks, and send us pictures of the fall foliage in your area. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.