Tue. May 17th, 2022

NEW PALTZ, NY (CBSNewYork) – As trees protect themselves in winter and go to sleep, they set up completely for our enjoyment – one that reveals leaves true colors.

But will leaf viewing in the fall live up to expectations?

CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock has your fall foliage forecast.

The views of Shawangunk Ridge through the lens of Drone Force 2 are breathtaking. A closer look shows the beauty of leaves that change color, but not so many. Green leaves still dominate the canopy.

“Normally we would see a little more color at this time of year,” said Megan Napoli, research ecologist at Mohonk Preserve.

Murdock met Naples near the Testimonial Gateway Trailhead in New Paltz in Pin Oak Alle, which will soon boast leaves of gold.

“Instead of next week being our highlight, I expect it to be a little later than that,” Napoli said.

READ MORE: Fall Apple picks destinations

Naples said that too many cloudy days as late have meant the sun has not been able to break down chlorophyll in green leaves.

Chlorophyll masks warm autumn colors, said Carol Rietsma, a volunteer and retired ecology professor.

“They have yellow and orange pigments. When chlorophyll dies in the fall, you start to see yellow and the oranges. The reds are really special because they are not a natural color. They are produced chemically in the leaves, ”said Rietsma.

(Photo: CBS2)

Murdock caught up with Rietsma as she collected weekly data on the flora and fauna of nature. She finally shared seeing a little color this week, making her feel “lavish”.

Other factors also play a role in the delay, such as temperature and precipitation. To date, this fall has been hot and wet, the opposite of the optimal.

“Cool nights often tend to lend to more intense and long-lasting foliage as well as bright sunny clear days,” said Eliot Nagele, director of the Thain Family Forest at the New York Botanical Garden.


Nagele said color changes in and around New York City typically peak in early to mid-November. He added that our forests are healthy. Still this month means something.

“A lot of what we see in October will lead to what we see late in the season,” Nagele said.

Here hope clear days and sharp nights make a comeback. The brilliance of your leaf viewing experience depends on it.

That’s not all. High winds and pests can cause trees to lose leaves prematurely. At Mohonk Preserve, Napoli observed some reduction in foliage due to both, but said she still expects an incredible experience.

This report was first published on October 6, 2021.


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