Fall colors have potential to be spectacular this year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) —  As the days get shorter and our nights grow colder, trees are shedding the green-glow of summer and beginning their burst into fall.

A few trees have already begun to change, And this year, peak color looks to be right on schedule with potentially brilliant displays.

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Dr. Bert Cregg from the Michigan State University’s Department of Horticulture is an expert on fall foliage in Michigan. He says this year, the peak color dates should land close to average. Here is a look at the average peak color times across Michigan:

Average timing for peak fall foliage


Dark Red: Late September to Early October.
Red:Early October
 Early to Mid October
Yellow: Late October

“Initially I was predicting a slightly later season because of the good rainfall, but the current pattern of sunshine and cool nights appears to be moving things along – so I think we’re to the “normal” timing on the map and should have excellent fall color,” Cregg said.


While predicting the timing of a display is relatively easy for experts, predicting the intensity and duration of fall foliage can be much more difficult. Temperatures, soil moisture, rainfall and wind can all play big parts in the brilliance of a display.

This year, most of Michigan has been enjoying beautifully warm, sunny weather. Cregg says that will be good for displays.

“Our current pattern is perfect; bright sunny days and cool nights are optimal for color development,” Cregg said.


While the warm, dry weather has put us in a good position for brilliance of color, it could also act to speed up leaf drop.

“The downside is that if things remain dry and the trees undergo stress, they may begin to drop leaves early resulting in a shorter season,” Cregg said.

Our warm and dry weather is expected to last through at least early October. So, those planning color tours will want to act fast to see those colors before the leaves fall.



Fall Color Tours around Michigan


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