(11/04/19) Take a ride anywhere across the ArkLaMiss and it’s not hard to find at least one tree that starting to change. It’s no mystery that leaves change during the fall but environmental factors can help make or break a beautiful display.
“When it drops down into the, you know, the mid to upper 30’s and it stays there, you know, for at least a few hours of the day along with the shortened days. When you have that come together, then the leaves will quote still be alive but will start turning colors so you’ll get more of the color from that way versus just an automatic hard freeze for several days” says Commissioner Mike Strain, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
It looks like this year Fall lovers are in for a little bit of a treat thanks from a boost from Mother Nature.
The cooler than normal mornings have been pairing up with the shorter days to allow some of the trees to already show off their vibrant colors; some are wasting no time changing.
“A lot of the oaks still have to go, sweet gum is starting to go now. And then sycamore has been going. If you look at some of the ornamental, there are some Crape Myrtles that are well on their way, some haven’t even started yet” says Kerry Heafner, Assistant Extension Agent with Louisiana State Agriculture center.
This has not been the case in recent years. “It’s been warmer, longer. It’s been hotter for a longer period of time. We’ve had less cold spells says Strain.
If we continue to see a gradual cool down as opposed to hard freezes we could see colorful leaves lasting through much of fall.