Why are leaves changing color in August? We talk with local experts to find out

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)– It is a common scene across Appalachia, leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. One that is generally seen in late September, early October.

“Well, trees can become stressed just like we can become stressed, and this year the drought has really taken a toll on the trees here in the state and probably other places in the country,” said Jeff Palmer, with the Department of Forestry.

Palmer believes he has an explanation as to why leaves are changing a bit early.

“Well, without water trees can not manufacture chlorophyll, the green pigment that appears in the leaves. Well, that pigment can not be manufactured, so once there is a halt in the manufacture of chlorophyll then the leaves began to change color,” Palmer stated.

Palmer said a lot of different activities can cause stress on trees. He said this is a normal thing that happens periodically.

“But, I think that this is mother nature doing her thing, so to speak. We had droughts before, and the following growing season a lot of the trees seem to bounce right back,” he continued.

As for an early fall this year, Palmer said we just have to wait and see what mother nature plans to do.

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