Forester says to expect a lot of fall color
When fall kicked off at 9:31 a.m. Tuesday, some of Warren County’s trees were already on their way to showing off their fall colors.
“We are starting the season,” DCNR Cornplanter District Forester Cecile Stelter said. “Some people are probably seeing some of the maples, particularly the red maples and some of the sugar maples show some color. That’s fairly typical.”
“The cooler nights that we had over the weekend and the warmer days, that’s setting us up for the change of color, for the processes to start to reverse in the trees,” Stelter said. “As far as timing, we’re about where we should be.”
“We’re at a couple percent right now,” she said. “It’ll be picking up. The trees will stop producing as much of the green chlorophyll.”
“We’ll start to see some really good color around the 15th through the 25th,” she said. “In some areas, you’re going to peak before that and in some pockets, well after that. Especially in the oak species.”
Warren County is in a better foliage position than some surrounding counties.
“We had what I’d call a summer season. Hot and dry. 90 degree days and some of the state is under a drought warning,” she said.
Warren County is not under that warning. “Usually when you have drier conditions, sometimes the colors aren’t quite as bright,” she said.
Here, “there will still be a lot of color,” she said. “The Warren area has gotten some precipitation. I think we’re going to see some really pretty colors this fall.”
The impacts of dry weather are particular to different species and the county has a lot of different trees.
“We have over 120 species of trees, all of which change color at a little different timing, and different colors,” she said. “We really get a full palette of colors. I think that’s what makes our foliage so beautiful in Pennsylvania.”
COVID-19 is not a problem. In fact, enjoying foliage is an excellent activity during social distancing.
“Going out and taking a fall foliage drive is a perfect COVID-19 activity,” Stelter said. “You can social distance. You can still get out and enjoy Penn’s Woods and adhere to all the COVID stuff.”