Wet summer bodes well for fall colors

A prediction from Clemson University for an extended season of fall colors. Forest ecologist Donald Hagen says record-breaking summer rains that caused creeks and rivers to overflow likely will mean a longer leaf season in the Southern Appalachians. “The wet soil means that trees should hold their leaves longer and fall colors will unfold more slowly. We’re unlikely to have the short-lived blast of color that has followed the drought conditions of recent years,” said Hagan, of Clemson’s School of Agriculture, Forest and Environmental Sciences. Hagan has observed such tree species as blackgum, flowering dogwood and sourwood are beginning to turn and some even are dropping their leaves. He advised leaf-lookers to watch the weather closely for the next few weeks. Crisp nights, followed by clear, mild days will cause color change to accelerate.