Fall foliage season may be delayed this year

ST. LOUIS - As the calendar turns from September to October, typically trees across the bi-state turn from summer's green, to fall's vibrant colors. 

But the onset of nature's brilliant autumn show may be a bit delayed this year.  And in some areas, the show may be a little less spectacular than some past seasons. 

Why you ask? The abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions across much of the St.Louis metro area may be to blame.

During severe drought, trees tend to change earlier, and leaves may brown and fall quickly, making for a less dazzling display. Moderate drought conditions may delay the onset of fall color. 

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, some early-changing trees like sumacs have already lost leaves due to the recent hot and dry conditions. 

The St. Louis region is beginning to turn. You may catch some nice patches of color, but you should see better color from more drought-tolerant, late-season wildflowers such as asters, goldenrods, black-eyed Susan, and the bonesets. You can see the full report from the state at https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/fall-colors.

Normally fall colors around the St.Louis metro area peak in mid October, but with the dry conditions this year, the peak may occur in mid/late October. We will be updating the foliage reports over the coming weeks.  So stay tuned to 5 On Your Side.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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