Drought conditions aren't nearly as dire in Vermont as they are in Massachusetts and Connecticut, but they still exist. According to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), 100% of the Green Mountain State is abnormally dry. As a result, Vermont's prized foliage season could take a hit.
Join our free news email list - cancel anytime
A recent article in the Boston Globe made the following observations about drought and foliage.
--Forest ecologists say that drought-impacted foliage areas can make the leaf peeing season come earlier, last a shorter period of time, and even take a little luster off the leaves.
--Prolonged drought conditions affect the life cycle of plants, and many trees are under stress due to a lack of moisture — some are already shedding their browned and withered leaves in drier areas like eastern Massachusetts.
--While droughts make the leaves turn earlier and quicker, it can also create a brief but bright and vibrant season.
--Foliage appears brightest when trees have had sufficient precipitation during the spring and summer, followed by cool, crisp temperatures in the fall.
--The most significant factor that affects the timing and vibrancy of autumn colors is air temperatures in the two to three weeks before the leaves turn, so the trajectory of this year's foliage forecast could still change, experts say.
--If we stay warm, the drought will have a much larger impact. But, if we get a couple of cold snaps, that brief, bright foliage situation will kick-start.
--Maple and oak trees are New England's fall foliage superstars. Maples turn first, and oaks typically turn later and are more drought tolerant,.
Vermont Vacations add this information regarding color change.
Different varieties of trees change at different times. Red maples are among the first to change, especially those along roadsides and in wet areas. The earliest foliage change generally occurs in the northern part of the state near the Canadian border, and at higher elevations. By mid-September, full color begins to appear across the north, moving progressively south during October. Individual trees and groups of trees with brilliant color can be found as early as the Labor Day weekend.
Typically, the fullest color can be found from late-September in the north, through mid-October in the south. Many experienced foliage viewers actually consider late October to be the most beautiful time in Vermont. Once the most brilliant colors have passed, the hills take on a subtler and richer range of hues.
Vermont also has an online tool called Foliage Forecaster, where you can zoom in on any part of the state, pick a two-day period now or in the future, and see the foliage forecast on the map. Here is the link:
Short or long, the foliage season acts as the fireworks of Vermont before the winter months set in.