Leaves get jump start on Fall - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Leaves get jump start on Fall

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by John Wilmer

Black Hawk County(KWWL) -- Driving around eastern Iowa you might think fall is already here. Trees have gotten a jump start on the season, with some of already showing their vibrant colors.

Why leaves change color is no secret.  As the days get shorter, less sunlight is being absorbed by the leaves and the trees prepare for the long winter ahead. 

Temperature and moisture greatly influence autumn color. Since each of these vary greatly, no two autumns are ever alike. A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, but not freezing nights seems to bring about the most spectacular color displays.

As for why some trees are getting a jump start, eastern Iowa's cool and wet summer may be to blame.

"What we are thinking is that there has possibly been a fungal growth that's been effecting some of the tree growth and causing leaf drop and causing some of the trees to shut down prematurely and lose some of it's chlorophyll function," said Ed Gruenwald, the Nature Center Director for Hartman Reserve.

The experts at Hartman Nature Reserve say there is no reason to worry about the early leaf change unless it happens over several years.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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