Horticulture experts predicting vibrant leaf colors in Illinois this fall

BLOOMINGTON - According to horticulture experts in Illinois, favorable spring and summer weather will lead to vibrant fall tree colors throughout the state.

Fell Arboretum horticulturalist and curator Patrick Murphy says some sugar and red maples have already started to change color.  Illinois State University horticulture professor Dr. David Kopsell says that the fall tree colors could last longer if the first frost holds off for a while, and if leaves aren't knocked off of trees due to strong storms.  University of Illinois Extension Office horticulture educator Kelly Allsup also says that cooler temperatures produce better colors.

Some trees are still stressed from last year's drought, which can trigger early color changes.  Murphy also adds that a major weather change that happened last November caused many leaves to change prior to the final color stage.

The autumnal equinox occurred on Monday night, marking the official start of fall.
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