Have you noticed the beautiful colors of fall now painted in the landscape in North Texas? The gorgeous hues of yellow, orange and red tell us that, basically the trees are putting themselves to sleep for the winter.
"You're beginning to see the pigment in the leaf because of the lack of chlorophyll in the leaf being produced this time of year," explained Mike Sills, regional urban forester with the Texas Forest Service. "When they sense that the days are getting shorter then they start to go dormant."
The vibrant colors we see in North Texas, though, are not statewide.
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"Down in Houston, they're just seeing more of brown and green not so much of trees actually showing their pigment like we are here. Like, I'm seeing some Bradford pears that have the real red leaves on them, more yellowish leaves on the cedar elm," Sills said.
State parks are popular places to see the vibrant colors, and the Texas Forest Service has a crowd-sourced online app of scenic views. Texas Parks and Wildlife also lists and trees changing colors and where to see them here.
Sills advises making that scenic drive sooner rather than later. "The first time the leaves get blown off, then we won't have that color," he said.
If you'd like those fall colors in your own yard, the forest service also has a list of trees to plant. And fall, Sills says, is the best time to do that.