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Leaves Begin to Shed the Green for Gold, Red, Yellow, and Orange

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(WGGB) — The quiet shades of green are becoming more vibrant. This, of course, is the story every year about this time with the shorter days and longer nights.

“The amount of light really is the major factor,” says Frontier Regional science teacher Bill Girardi, adding that “Green chlorophyll starts to diminish and also with daylight diminishing, chlorophyll isn’t produced as quickly,” he adds.

The dry conditions over the past couple of weeks could have some impact in the duration of the color, but don’t worry too much about the weather.

Sunshine is a needed ingredient.

“Cool nights, but no frost and warm days like this…clear days are just right,” says Girardi. “I wouldn’t worry too much about the dryness.”

When you’re out on those New England back roads, you’ll be able to spot the different types of trees. Some more spectacular than others, Giradri explains.

“Maples are the most colorful, but Oaks…they are kind of boring. They turn from green to brown, because the background pigments.”

And of course, location matters too.

Franklin and Berkshire Counties have moderate color change already, while the lower Pioneer Valley is just starting to change.

“For the Berkshires, you better do it the first week of October. As you come into the valley, there’s usually 2 weeks difference,” Girardi notes.

As of now, 10 to 15 percent of the color has changed. Most of the Valley peaks by mid-to-late October.

But so far, so good for a picture-perfect autumn. “I’m optimistic this year will be a classic fall season,” Girardi says.

If you have any foliage pictures to share, you can send them to weather@wggb.com. Please include your name and where the photo was taken, and we may highlight them on wggb.com as well as on ABC40 News.