Fall Colors Nearing Peak
Leaves around the state are starting to change color. That had several families spending their day hiking at Devil’s Den State Park Thursday.
Park Superintendent Monte Fuller said dozens of families have made it out to Devil’s Den the last few days to enjoy the cooler weather and pretty colors.
“Right now, there are a lot of yellows, a little bit of red,” Fuller said. “There are still some greens out that have yet to turn…but mostly we’re seeing the yellows right now.”
Every year, the leaves change color about this time of year because of the photosynthesis process. Trees need energy to grow, so they convert sugars into energy. But to do so, they use a chemical called Chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color.
“It’s your basic sixth-grade science lesson,” explained Fuller. “The trees are just going through photosynthesis. As the days become shorter, the amount of sunlight available for the trees to be able to create their food source through the photosynthesis process becomes less. And that’s when you start seeing the different colors.”
That’s because the Chlorophyll disappears from the leaves, removing their green color. That lets other colors come through.
But when that process happens depends on where you live. It’s determined by the amount of moisture in the soil, as well as how much sunlight the trees have received.
“Earlier in the summer we were concerned because of the drought,” Fuller said. “But then we finally got some rain towards the early fall and it seems to have made the colors good and bright.”
If you’re interested in heading out to Devil’s Den State Park, officials say now is the time. Within the next few weeks, the leaves are expected to fall off the trees.