The green leaves of summer will soon be in our yards. But the conservation department says they’ll bid us a colorful farewell. Forest Management Chief Mike Hoffman says a lot of it is a big sugar rush for leaves. “Warm, sunny days and cool nights…will produce more of the red and purple colors as the sugars that are formed in the leaves during the warm, sunny days are trapped by the cool nights,” he says. He also says the chlorophyl, the green in the leaves, masks the yellows and oranges until this time of year.

Northeast Missouri might see more browns and bronzes because wet weather has led to leaf diseases that could take some of the brightness out of some colors. The department says the Fall color usually peaks about October 15th, with trees in the north a week earlier and trees in the south a week later.

Interview with Mike Hoffman 5 min MP3