2016-10-07 / Front Page

‘Spectacular’ weekend for leaf peeping

York County fall foliage awash in colors
By TAMMY WELLS
Senior Staff Writer


Fall foliage is starting to turn York County trees those lovely shades of red, burgundy, yellow and orange – as seen here looking over Sokokis Lake from Carroll Overlook on Route 5 in Limerick. 
TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune Fall foliage is starting to turn York County trees those lovely shades of red, burgundy, yellow and orange – as seen here looking over Sokokis Lake from Carroll Overlook on Route 5 in Limerick. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune Whether you’re in Limerick or Dayton, Sanford or Biddeford, or in more coastal locales, it’s the magical season once more.

It’s the time the color begins, when the leaves of Maine’s maple, oak, birch, ash and other hardwoods turn from green to scarlet, burgundy, orange and yellow .

Right now, the trees in York County are considered to be in moderate change by the Maine Foliage Report. That means those out for a drive this Columbus Day weekend can expect to see some green amid the colors – depending on where you are.

One back road may be awash with fall color, while in others, the reds and yellows are intertwined with green.

While York County is in a severe drought, it does not appear to have had an effect on the foliage, said Maine Forest Service spokesman John Bott.

“It should be a spectacular weekend,” he said. “Overall, the drought does not appear to have played a role.”

Sanford botanist Dr. Gordon “Bud” Johnston said he was a little worried that the drought would dry out the leaves and that they would fall before they had a chance to turn color. But while a few did, most did not.

As well, the sun produced a lot of food for the leaves, said Johnston, and the cool nights bring out the color.

“The cool nights are great for color development,” he said.

“Its changing right before my eyes,” said Gail Ross of the Maine Foliage Report. “I don’t expect peak to be until late next week, and now that we’re dodging hurricane Matthew, the leaves will be able to hang in there longer.”

Ross said the trees started out healthy and disease-free, and even though there’s been a severe lack of rain, it doesn’t appear to have had an impact.

“I’m no scientist, but what I have seen for color has wowed me,” she said.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or twells@journaltribune.com.

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