Those hoping to catch the peak of the changing fall colors in Utah County this year may have to get out a little bit earlier than usual.
According to a fall foliage forecast published by the tourism website SmokyMountains.com, Utah’s leaves appear to be changing colors ahead of most of the country, with some of the state’s foliage already nearing their peak.
Utah County’s fall leaves typically reach their peak colors at the very end of September and beginning of October, according to U.S. Forest Service public affairs specialist Kathy Jo Pollock. However, Smoky Mountain’s foliage report predicts the county’s leaves will reach their peak colors sometime during the week of Sept. 21 and Sept. 28 this year.
“The colors do seem to be changing a little bit earlier than normal, as far as I can tell,” BYU plant and wildlife sciences professor Sam St. Clair said. “The changing of colors is a result of the loss of the green type of chlorophyll. The timing of that can be influenced by stressful conditions, such as hotter, drier summers, as well as longer periods of drought.”
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