SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Question About Fall Color

I received this question from MIchael Sisson of Lafayette regarding some fall color.

Posted: Aug 15, 2018 4:49 PM
Updated: Aug 15, 2018 6:37 PM

I received this question from Michael Sisson:

I was just noticing that the local trees are looking like they're starting to change color this morning and then I found a fresh leaf that suggests I'm right. What do you think? Look around at 14th and Salem St in Lafayette.

Hello Michael!

Thank you for the question!

A lot of factors can make trees begin to show some early bits of color from soil issues to air pollution to disease, & insect pressure, etc. Too early color production is often a sign of some sort of stress.  Without seeing the sites around the particular trees that are showing a bit of color.

Indeed, trees normally begin to cut back or stop growth by mid to late August & may cut back on chlorophyll (gives leaves their deep green color) production in preparation for dormancy months away. Most have already grown all they are going to grow by mid to late August (for the summer), unless they are trimmed, then they sprout back. Suckers may also appear around certain trees.

A stressor will begin to affect a tree more later in the growing season if the stress has been cumulative.  Active growth & continued issues with that stressor may make symptoms of that stress really begin to show up.

From a weather standpoint this summer, only 40-75% of the normal rainfall has fallen in much of our area since early July after a dry May & several dry stretches in June. We tend to get a lot of our summer rainfall from storms & especially severe weather. Severe weather occurrence is the lowest for any summer since 1970 in our viewing area. In that summer, just 3 reports of severe weather occurred. 1988 was very inactive until we had a couple of severe weather events/outbreak August 15 & 18 with multiple severe weather reports over the viewing area.

Some of the color may be tied to the non-consistent rainfall causing just a lot of fluctuation in soil moisture. Some species handle it better than others.

Non-consistent rainfall can also cause Pin Oaks to really turn yellow. Without the slightly-acidic rainfall, higher soil pH develops in areas where limestone products for construction or the deep, more calcareous glacial till is dug up & mixed with the topsoil. Pin oaks do not handle calcareous soils or soils with higher pH well.  Ironically, if a Pin Oak is watered too much with hard, cholorinated tap water, it gets chlorosis.  It is native to wet soils, but does best in acidic soil.  Hard, chlorinated water & dry soil or highly-flucating soil moisture is not best for it.

On a side note, more Blue Ash & Chinkapin Oak should be planted as street trees in our area.  They handle the soil fluctuation a lot, hard, chlorinated water well, as well as the calcareous & high pH soil that is often found around construction sites where the unleached deep glacial till is mixed with the topsoil & limy construction material alters the pH.  Blue Ash is also more resistant to the Emerald Ash Borer than Green & White Ash, which are more traditional street ashes.

In summery, it is some stress that may be attributed to rapid soil moisture conditions or overall lack of consistent rainfall.

Chad

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Kokomo
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 25°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 28°
Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 23°
Monticello
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 25°
Logansport
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 27°
Heaviest precipitation Monday-Monday night....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events