aspen color peak with a very dry year?

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aspen color peak with a very dry year?

Postby derekw » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:34 pm

What sort of timing do you think we are looking at this year? Or is dryness even a very big factor?
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Re: aspen color peak with a very dry year?

Postby Nathan Hale » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:27 pm

I've never seen anyone with definitive evidence (i.e. a scientific study of some kind) indicating what factors impact the date that the aspens turn. As far as I've ever seen the temperature seems to be the biggest factor, though it's not unreasonable to assume that it might be impacted by the dryness.

Still, the dates seem to be very similar every year regardless of the factors, and if you plan to head out sometime in the last week of September or the first week of October you'll be more or less guaranteed to have a beautiful display SOMEWHERE in the state unless a big and fierce early season storm knocks the leaves off of the trees.
But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.
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Re: aspen color peak with a very dry year?

Postby ajkagy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:34 pm

the waning amount of daylight is the largest factor in the timing of when they change color which is why you see them change like clockwork at the end of sept/early Oct. This is also why the higher latitude aspens in the northern part of the state change slightly before the southern part of the state.

temperature and moisture play a really small part in it as well, but this usually determines how brilliant the colors will be and not when they change.
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Re: aspen color peak with a very dry year?

Postby Hypersnow » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:24 pm

ajkagy is correct about the color changes and the factors that influence the change. But keep in mind this year is a pretty extreme drought; I have already seen stands of aspen in the Maroon Bells area that are turning yellow/black and falling, due to drought stress (as well as some severely drought stressed lodgepole pine). Unless our monsoon picks up soon there may not be many leaves left come the normal color time... :cry:

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