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Beautiful Time of The Year

A picture of a lovely Hickory tree with bright yellow leaves in the fall time.
Yellow Hickory Tree


Beautiful Time of the Year
   All seasons provide color, but fall seems to have all kinds of surprises when the geen leaves change to everything from bright yellow to scarlet. I am sure each of you has a favorite species of tree that comes to mind that you look forward to viewing when fall rolls around.
   What is it that gives the leaves their fall color? Well the explanation can get detailed, but suffice it to say that as the chlorophyll is broken down at the end of the season, and some carbohydrates are sent downward for storage, the remaining pigments become visible in a range of colors.
   The duration and intensity of this show of color is affected by other factors such as moisture during the growing season. Hot dry summer can cause lesser color, but it seems from my personal experience that the color will come around each fall, although it may be delayed. Variation in  temperatures can affect color, warm sunny days and cool nights tend to produce good color.
   The length of time the tree retains its color can also depend upon the weather. Frosts and freezes can shorten the leaf retention. I particularly like the bright yellow color of the Ginko, but you had better be waiting on it because it will be gone before you have time to enjoy it.
   Most talk on fall color is about the Maples, whether it be Red Maples, which can vary depending upon
variety, or Sugar Maples, which are known for the bright orange color, or even the Japanese Maples can
give a bright red to the landscape.
   Blackgum is our earliest tree to give color, a bright red, but once again its color doesn’t last. The Hickory
is a favorite because it retains its yellow for a longer period. Oaks are not known for outstanding color,
but, White Oaks can give a great scarlet color in some years. Have you noticed the orange to red color a
Sassafras give off? They are usually seen in fence rows or ditch banks with the bright red Sumac.
Don’t count out the Crape Myrtle when it comes to color, they can produce a great red-orange color,
especially the varieties that are more resistant to the leaf spot diseases. Hey, even my least favorite
tree, the Sweet Gum, has beautiful scarlet color, to be enjoyed. Perhaps I didn’t mention your favorite,
but take the opportunity to see the great fall tree color here in Arkansas.

By Saline County Agent
Ron Matlock, County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Saline County Agent
Ron Matlock, County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
1605 Edison Ave., #15, Benton, AR 72015

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