Published September 11 2013
Fall colors may be muted in southeast MinnesotaWINONA, Minn. — While foresters predict a brilliant fall color season for most of Minnesota, the hues could be muted in scenic southeastern Minnesota.
Fall colors are showing up early again in the southeast part of the state this year, and may not be as spectacular as elsewhere as a moderate drought continues in Winona, Wabasha, Houston and parts of Fillmore County, the Winona Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/15Re3OL ).
"It all depends on the weather," said Don Mueller, a Department of Natural Resources forest supervisor. "Trees under stress color early."
Last year's hot, dry summer in the southeast resulted in an early showing and leaves that fell early. This year's mix of a cool, wet spring with the cooler summer temperatures and the current hot, dry weather could have a more complex impact.
Typical color-change in southeast Minnesota starts in mid-September, Mueller said, and peaks in late September to mid-October.
Dry conditions can mute colors or turn them toward yellows and browns. Wet springs and early summers tend to make colors more vibrant.
"We will probably have a better show than we would have had with an extremely dry summer," Mueller said. "Drought aside, when you have warm sunny days and cool nights in the autumn, that's when we get the best fall color."
Information from: Winona Daily News, http://www.winonadailynews.com
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