We are entering that world-class time of the year for Ohio and the Eastern United States – the time of fall foliage color. Nevertheless, we are receiving numerous calls about what is wrong with their trees, especially honeylocusts; yellowing leaves and all.
Nothing out of the ordinary – it is simply fall foliage time. Despite our warm temperatures and with it seeming like it is still summer - for trees - fall is proceeding as usual. There are factors of temperature and moisture that affect fall coloration intensity, but the key ingredient for fall color starts in the summer at the same time every year, once night lengths increase.
This results in the beginning of the process of leaf abscission. In turn this results in lower chlorophyll production and the start of the unmasking of yellow leaf pigments. Later red pigments are produced and each year, the rest is history.
Check out the National Arboretum and their “Science of Color in Autumn Leaves at: http://usna.usda.gov/PhotoGallery/FallFoliage/ScienceFallColor.html for a good explanation of the process.
As BYGL-time passes, we will detail further fall foliage features, from sourgum to scarlet oak, from sweetgum to red maples. Oh, and one last fall color – highly unusual, but most welcome. The reds of Rally Towels last night in the Forest City!