Every autumn, New Yorkers anxiously await the changing of the leaves with a PSL in hand. And though I Love NY‘s annual Fall Foliage Report isn’t set to return until September, we can already predict when to expect peak foliage to hit NYC!
Based on previous years of reports, experts can draw conclusions on the typical time leaves begin to turn into the most gorgeous shades of orange, yellow and red. For NYC, fall foliage is expected to peak this year by mid-November.
Colors typically tend to appear much sooner in Upstate New York. Areas in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains see color changes as early as the beginning of September.
According to I Love NY, peak foliage lasts for about three to four days. Therefore, it’s very important to stay up to date on the current stage of foliage in autumn so you don’t miss the beautiful spectacle.
Now, have you wondered how or why these beautiful colors start to appear come autumn? As we know, leaves continuously produce chlorophyll, giving them their green color. Although, once it’s fall, leaves produce chlorophyll much slower as nights lengthen. Eventually chlorophyll production stops entirely. This results in a color change that is actually showing the leaves’ carotenoids and anthocyanin, explains the US Department of Agriculture.