Is New Hampshire Seeing Peak Foliage...Or Weak Foliage?

Oct 17, 2017

Credit Britta Greene for NHPR

Haven't been impressed with the leaf peeping in New Hampshire so far this year? You're not alone.

Dave Lutz, a research associate in the Environmental Studies Department at Dartmouth College, has been thinking a lot about fall foliage for a paper he’s been working on. He’s been watching what he calls “indicator trees” along his drive to work – certain species he watches for their color and behavior.

“There’s different ones that I’ll pick out and say – that’s starting to go,” he said. “I noticed that happening in mid-September this year, and I’d say there’s still more than 50 percent of the leaves on the trees here in Hanover.”

That’s a big contrast from last year, when the colors popped suddenly, and quite brilliantly. Those bright reds, in particular, are triggered by dry spells and cold temperatures, Lutz said. We've seen neither of those conditions this year, which means we're likely to see a slow drip of more muted color continuing through the rest of the fall. 

He said it's hard to make any direct connection to climate change, or to economic impact in the state -- for that, we need more data. 

What do you think of the fall colors on display this year? Are they peak, or weak? Click here to leave a comment on our Facebook page and feel free to post a photo!