DENVER – August 17, 2023 |
As cool morning weather blankets the Front Range, an autumnal ambiance is in the air with hints of red, orange, and yellow leaves dotting the landscape. However, before you fully embrace the fall spirit, keep in mind that the official start of autumn this year is still a few days away on September 23rd.
Channel 9News recently sat down with our resident arborist, Tony Hahn, to shed light on the true meaning behind these premature fall colors. What you might be witnessing is what experts call “false fall.” This phenomenon occurs when trees react to abrupt weather fluctuations, a phenomenon experienced in the Front Range in May and June. The region witnessed a rollercoaster of weather, with soaring temperatures in the 80s and 90s followed by a sudden drop to 49 degrees. These dramatic changes can deceive trees into thinking that colder temperatures are imminent, and people into believing that autumn has prematurely arrived. Any discolored leaves can be attributed to these temperature swings.
Hahn elaborates that patches of discolored leaves could also result from branch injuries or a condition known as Micronutrient Chlorosis. This condition occurs when clay soils become excessively wet, hindering trees from accessing the nutrients they require to produce the vibrant green chlorophyll, particularly affecting oak and maple trees.
For more tips from our team of certified arboriculturists, contact us at