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Fall colors fall short in New England

October 19, 2017 GMT

Residents across much of the country routinely look forward to this time of year because their Zip code happens to be graced with some beautiful fall foliage. Throughout the Rocky Mountains, for instance, the aspen trees put on quite a show annually by all turning yellow at precisely the same time. But most everyone agrees that when it comes to fall foliage in the U.S., the best place to be is New England. Those sugar maples in states like Vermont and New Hampshire really put on a show. Or at least they used to.

This fall has turned out to be yet another dud for fall colors in that region, an occurrence that in recent years has shown signs of becoming a worrisome trend. Instead of turning brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red, many maple leaves are just drying up and falling. Deciduous trees will always lose their leaves in the fall as long as the days continue to grow shorter, but it’s the weather that causes the leaves to change color, and the weather’s changing. Temperatures, especially at night, have turned warmer, and rainfall has increased, often hitting trees with fungal diseases.