While we had a historic summer of rain, fall foliage season is just around the corner. But how does our climate affect the leaves, and would this year’s wet summer affect this year’s fall colors?

Fall color usually peaks between late September and early October for most of our region, while the Champlain Valley sees its brightest colors in mid to late October.

Our weather plays a big role in how the season will turn out, especially with climate change. Warmer temperatures in our region have already caused some hardwood trees in Vermont to migrate up the mountains by almost 130 feet in the past 50 years to get to cooler temperatures, according to a 2008 study of Mount Abraham.

Warmer temperatures could delay the fall colors, according to researchers at the University of Vermont. Other conditions that could threaten the vibrant leaves include drought, like what we saw in 2022, or too much rain, which can also put stress on the trees.

Despite this, if we continue to see warm days and cool nights, we can expect to have a colorful season even after all the summer flooding.