It’s official: Fall foliage reports begin for Western New York
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It’s official: Fall foliage reports begin for Western New York

Sep 28, 2017

BATAVIA — Fall is officially upon us.

Which means it’s time to check in on the state’s Fall Foliage Report and see what to expect for this season.

Each week during the autumn season, I Love New York puts out a report informing people how the foliage is doing across the year. The varying degrees include “no change,” “just changing,” “midpoint,” “near peak,” “peak” and “past peak.”

According to the most recent report, all of the GLOW is just starting to change.

But thanks to the rain this area has had all spring and summer, this season should see “above average autumn coloration,” said Karl Nilkas, professor of plant science at Cornell University. He added this is because the trees will be healthier and thus retain their leaves.

This situation is the opposite of what the area experienced last year.

Last year, the GLOW region went through one of the worst droughts in a few decades and that — among many other factors — is not good for foliage. Essentially, trees didn’t have enough strength to hold their leaves so the foliage came and went quickly.

Niklas added that neither situation, a drought or excess water, affects the intensity of the colors. It just affects whether the leaves are on the ground or not.

“(This year) is going to be much better than last year,” Niklas said, adding trees were already defoliated by this time last year.

One thing that’s putting a good foliage season at risk, though, is this recent heat wave.

“It’s not good,” Niklas said. “This is unseasonably warm.”

He added: “it accelerates the growth of the trees.”

So if the temperatures cool down following this week’s warm weather, the region should be in store for some good foliage.

By JOE LEATHERSICH, Batavia Daily News

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