Leaf-peepers must be patient

This is usually the time of year to enjoy the colorful display provided by nature, but the fall foliage season in the region is getting off to a late start.

Most of the leaves on trees around the Garden State are still green. New Jersey state climatologist Dave Robinson said it’s tough to predict how vibrant the leaf colors will be.

The trees were stressed by the hottest July on record and the record rainfall in August and September, he said.

“I still think there’s hope that after the heat stress, after the moisture stress, with some cool nights coming up in the next week or two, we may begin to see quite a nice foliage season,” Robinson said.

Meanwhile, in southeastern Pennsylvania, the peak of the leaf season is expected to start in the fourth week of October through Nov. 1, according to the state’s Bureau of Forestry.  

Some of Pennsylvania’s “early turners,” including dogwood, red maple, ash, elm, cherry, black gum and walnut, have already started showing their fall colors.

The colors also have started to change in the northwest region of New Jersey.

“Some stuff is just beginning to change right at the present time. There’s still a lot of green out here, and I’m hoping that probably within the next ten days maybe we’ll start getting real fall color,” said Jack Shuart, a regional forester.

The New Jersey Division of Tourism said visitors who travel to see the foliage contribute to the more than $35 billion in revenue generated by tourism in the state.

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