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Why Are The Leaves Late To Change Color?

Posted Oct 30, 2018
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By Mark Spitulski, Asbury Woods Certified Arborist and Director of Facilities and Grounds

For leaves to change to their fall colors they need shortened daylight hours, cool temperatures and drier soils.  We have had many 80 degrees days in early October and enough rain to push the color change back 2 -3 weeks.

Our warm, wet fall is keeping our tree green leaves very healthy.  The color change happens when the green pigment, called chlorophyll dies allowing the true color of leaf to appear.  We are not seeing any anthocyanin (red or purple) or carotenoid pigment(yellow and orange) because our trees are not stressed from drought or colder temperatures at night, which will cause the chlorophyll to die.

Less stress means healthier trees which makes the green color stay longer.

 It’s just the weather, be patient because they will still show their true colors soon enough.