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Virginia Tech: Dry Weather Will Impact Fall Leaves This Year

Shenandoah National Park.
Shenandoah National Park. (Photo: Sarah Hauser)

Dry weather is expected to make fall leaves in Virginia dull this year, and it comes during the state’s peak tourist season.

There are already crunchy brown leaves on the ground.

"So these trees are dropping their leaves with very little color development," said John Seiler, Virginia Tech’s professor of forestry. That includes red oaks, sugar maples and yellow poplars that normally make Virginia’s mountain country beautiful.

Andrew Cothern, Virginia Tourism  Corporation said, "A lot of people come in just to see the leaves change color."

And Seiler said, "We still will have some good trees to look at, but it is going to have a negative impact."

Tourism continues to increase regardless.  In 2018 total visitation was 5.5 million with an annual economic impact of 26 billion.

Crunchy leaves or not.

The peak time for fall leaves is usually the third and fourth week in October and the first week of November.


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