Missing Out on Fall Color This Year

Enduring the heat, humidity, gnats, horseflies, mosquitoes, and other unpleasant elements of Wisconsin in the Summer months is the toll we pay to experience the crisp, cool, dry, bug-less Fall. The bonus is Fall color. Up here with a preponderance of hardwoods and relatively few pines, we normally have a riot of colors during this time of year, but not this one. What has happened?

In researching why, it turns out we had TOO MUCH RAIN. You would think the trees would like this, but no. Too much rain stresses trees just like not enough rain. Too much rain can cause trees to get fungal diseases on the leaves. This can affect the color and volume of the leaves.

Here in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, we are entering peak season right now and there is not much color to be seen. Everything is muted browns, mucky yellows and dull greens; not the vibrant reds, oranges, bright yellows we usually get. Shucks, we were really looking forward to it. We have not yet had a frost, which some say helps to kick off the leaves turning color. Others say it is just shortening of daylight and cooler temperatures that cause the chlorophyll to break down leaving behind the natural color of the leaves, red, orange, yellow, depending on the species of tree. But if the leaves fall off before this can happen, you get what is seeming to take place this year, where we are anyway.

Last Fall vs This Fall Townsend Cemetery

Last Fall vs This Fall view from our lake house

Last Fall vs This Fall view down our driveway

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