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Wet, warm weather makes for muted fall foliage in New York

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Lindsey Knewstub

The colors of the 2018 fall foliage season will be delayed and less vibrant, predicts Taryn Bauerle, Cornell University associate professor of plant science, whose research focuses on how plants communicate water stress.

"The goldilocks of fall colors is warm sunny days followed by cool nights. Right now, New York has had a very wet and warm fall that will delay changes in foliage and lessen their vibrancy. Therefore, we can expect fall foliage to be less vivid this year.

"Temperature and moisture are the major drivers of the fall foliage display. As with most principles, a lot of anything isn’t good. Too little water and warm temperatures increases the chances of early leaf fall and hence poor fall colors. Too much water and warm temperatures increases the likelihood of diseases.”

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