Will those characteristic fall colors make an appearance? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Will those characteristic fall colors make an appearance?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - With the first week of autumn in the books, many people are wondering when the characteristic fall colors will make their appearance.

This summer's extreme drought and hot temperatures in southern Arkansas have prevented many deciduous trees from showing color.

Tom Lindsey of the Arkansas Forestry Commission says Northeast Arkansas has not been impacted by this shortage and expects local trees to really show their colors when overnight temperatures dip into the low 40s within the next week.

The result is a cascade of colors, which draws thousands of tourists to the Natural State each year.

Thomas Lindsey of the Arkansas Forestry Commission is looking forward to this fall.

"I can start to see some change going on right now. You'll start seeing a big change probably in the next two weeks or so. Depends on the temperature."

The scattered reds and yellows we see now are the result of last week's chilly evenings.

"The colder the temperatures are at night and during the day, the pigment's going to change. and you'll start seeing the colors change."

The black walnut, pecan, maple, sweet gum and black gum trees are usually the first to change colors.

Harder trees such as the oak and the elm will follow.

Ranger Lindsey adds that only a handful of trees in Region 8 were stressed by the summer.

"Drought affects the growth of the tree, not so much the color of the fall leaves. trees go into dormancy at an earlier age, or an earlier time than normal."

The trees that are dormant go into "survival mode" and usually have poor soil or a lack of water.

During this time, they shed their leaves early.

However, Tom expects fall colors to peak by late October and early November.

"It's going to progressively get better. The colors are going to change a lot quicker as the nights get cooler."

For more information on fall foliage, click here.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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