PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Although we’re not yet in a drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor map says it’s abnormally dry in the Delaware Valley. That has folks who love to take in the fall color wondering if this year’s display will be a washout.
Dr. Chris Tipping, Interim Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley University, said plants are like wicks, drawing water up to the leaves, then out little pores on the leaf bottoms.
When they’re stressed by lack of water, Tipping says trees may close those pores, stopping photosynthesis, making leaves curl. And if the dry spell continues.
“The plant will just begin to drop those leaves, without even seeing the normal color change we normally would in the fall season.”
He said for now, though, it’s hard to predict what will happen.
“It’s no time to panic. If we do get a good soaking rain, maybe an inch, half an inch, that will quickly reverse the wilting that you see see on the leaves, and the trees will hold onto those leaves.”
Giving fall foliage fans a leaf show worth peeping at.