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New Englanders - Are trees turning earlier this year?

New Englanders - Are trees turning earlier this year?

Sep 1st, 2009, 06:22 PM
  #1  
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New Englanders - Are trees turning earlier this year?

I live NE of Boston, and I have been surprised to note that trees seem like they are starting to color earlier this year than the past several. There are even particular trees that I admire every year that I have noticed this on. I don't mean they have turned yet (although some leaves, and even isolated trees, are starting to), but that leaf color is already shifting in perceptible ways.

Is it my imagination - after all, it was a cool and wet summer and the fall chill is already in the air - or are other New England residents seeing (or sensing) the same thing?

(Note to Rhode Islanders: I had to leave one state off the post title due to Fodors limits, and I picked RI simply because, for better or for worse, it is the state I least associate with fall foliage. Sorry about that - no slight of you intended!)

(Note to editors: There was noting like this - that I could see, anyway - in the US Forum, where I assume it belongs. But if it goes in the Lounge, feel free to move it).
Cranachin is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 06:23 PM
  #2  
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Vermonters - I had Vermont on the "Tagged" list, and it showed up in the preview before i posted. Not sure why it was chopped off on the actual post!
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Sep 1st, 2009, 07:12 PM
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yk
 
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I haven't noticed any major difference. 2 of the trees near us have a couple of leaves that started turning color; but I'm pretty sure it was about the same time last year for these 2 particular trees.

[I live a few miles W of Boston.]
yk is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 03:17 AM
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Usually they turn early in a dry year. There are always a few show offs that show bits of color early, but we don't seem to be seeing anything unusual in Maine. However, apparently there's a blight due to the 'wettest summer on record' that's causing some species to drop leaves early. That's why you may be seeing dried up brown leaves under some trees when there are still green, healthy leaves on the tree.
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Sep 2nd, 2009, 03:21 AM
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I'm a little north of Concord NH. I've only seen a couple of trees that show some color change but usually it's not pretty. We have an old swamp maple next to the driveway that is turning a pale reddish brown. The other maples are still quite green. The swamp maples turn red earlier than other trees which can make for some pretty looking swamps but I haven't seen those turn yet. However, with night time temps in the 40s it could happen any time. Some trees look like the green is fading. A friend with a camp in northern NH says color can change overnight. I don't think it changes that quickly around here. To me, it's always a long, slow change and last year, I never figured out when peak was. I think for the past few years I've thought we were going to get early color and then it doesn't happen. I think maybe the states' tourist bureaus have a deal worked out with mother nature to get everyone excited as early as possible. I will guarantee however that due to the long, wet cold non-summer, the recent great weather weekends have generated very heavy traffic on Rt 93. North of Concord we've seen traffic backed up late Sunday afternoons to exit 17. We've seen people get off at exit 18 to take backroad alternate routes.
dfrostnh is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 03:59 AM
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Just went for a great hike yesterday, very pretty but no color changes in Southern NH yet.
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Sep 2nd, 2009, 04:23 AM
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No signs of anything here in my small city just south of Boston. Individual trees will turn early if they're stressed.
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Sep 2nd, 2009, 05:12 AM
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Nothing out here in western MA.
capxxx is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 11:11 AM
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Thanks to all who have replied so far. I have seen trees with what looks like faded green as well as some individual colored leaves and some branches that have changed.

A little color change this early is not unusual here, but it just seems like there is more going on earlier than normal. Maybe the odd weather is making me imagine things!
Cranachin is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Not around area north and west of Boston either. "Stressed" trees and branches will change color earlier - stress in this case is things like drought (not around here this summer!), damage from insects, environment, trauma; root system damage; etc. Maybe that is what is going on.
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Sep 3rd, 2009, 05:26 AM
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Hello, Stupid ?? but when would you suggest to make the visit, is Sept 24 to early?

1st time attempthing this, hubby wants to see dinasour prints in Connectitcut, the free to do what ever. Planning on 4 days

Di
Broncett is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 06:36 AM
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Well, who knows, but I would guess Sept 24 might be a little early for CT. Maybe ok farther north (say southern VT border?)

Are you aware that the Amherst College natural science museum has the world's largest collection of dinosaur tracks? Not that you should skip seeing them ``in situ'' in CT, but you might enjoy the visit.
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Sep 5th, 2009, 04:01 PM
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I went up to Manchester yesterday (4th Sept) and while I did note one or two trees with some color to them 3 out of 4 were dark red leaves or droopy leaves which denotes stress.
I don't think we'll see much color before late Sept and that will be up north in VT, NH, ME.
But if we get some good frosty nights going and warm afternoons.. then anything is possible so watch the weather channel.
In Salem MA we're in the mid 50s at night so we have a ways to go. (And I'm not interested in getting there any sooner than I have to...! I'm still waiting for my summer!!!)
Jeff Foliage
Vistaphotography is offline  
Sep 5th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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I was saying to my husband today that it seemed like some trees were starting to have some early signs of changing. I'm in southern Maine. Oh, how I love Maine during the fall. The beautiful weather we are finally having makes up for the wet summer.
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Sep 6th, 2009, 02:40 AM
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Actually spotted a swamp edged with red swamp maples yesterday just north of Concord NH. Took a different route past another swamp and that one wasn't colored at all.
dfrostnh is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 02:28 PM
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Hmmmm......

So does it turn out the leaves ARE changing earlier this year????
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Sep 24th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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yk
 
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Just a tiny bit here... still fairly green!
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Sep 24th, 2009, 03:43 PM
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Just returned from my weekly work drive to Central Mass - thru some of the hills around Worcester. Very little color except in swamps and where trees were stressed by a December ice storm.
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Sep 24th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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J62
 
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Just retuned from my weekly work drive to Western Mass/Taconic/Berskshires. Very little color except in swamps and where trees where stressed by a December ice storm. Some birch trees are starting to show a little yellow, and a few sugar maples are showing some orange on the fringes, but not much beyond that.
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Sep 24th, 2009, 04:46 PM
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Thanks for the updates!
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