The fall feeling has arrived but when does the fall view finally show its colorful face?
One of the most frequently asked questions when the weather turns cool and days become shorter is, "When will fall colors arrive"?
The arrival of colorful fall foliage ranges from year to year across the state of Illinois. The peak normally occurs when we have bright, sunny days and cool nights that include plenty of rainfall, but no freezing.
"Predicting peak fall color is very difficult," U of I Extension horticulture educator Ron Wolford said. "Normally colors peak in Northern Illinois around mid-October, but a few years ago we didn't get peak color until late October. So peak color varies from year to year."
The production of chlorophyll in plants is slowed by shorter days and cooler nights. The yellow pigments covered by chlorophyll then show through after it breaks down and disappears from the lack of production. Generally plants that are in direct sunlight have more vibrant fall colors than those shaded from the light of the day.
We have had sufficient rainfall over the past few weeks accompanied with a series of cold fronts with bright sunny days in between. According to maps from the comprehensive fall foliage website by the U of I Extension Office, the Tri-States' peak fall foliage will occur in mid-October.
If you love the reds, oranges and yellows you don't have to wait much longer for that fall view to come full circle for us in the Tri-States.
You can find more information at www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/fallcolor.