Foliage season has begun

Posted Sept. 24, 2013, at 10:45 a.m.

The official start of the fall foliage season in Maine began Sept. 11. The 2013 Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry reports that the northernmost part of the state is experiencing subtle color changes of less than 30 percent with very low leaf drop at less than 10 percent. However, the state anticipates an outstanding foliage season according to the Maine Forest Service.

“The native maples, particularly the red and sugar maples, which are considered to provide the great backdrop of seasonal color, have vigorous, healthy foliage with no notable problems.  Given our moderate summer weather, and allowing for this trend into the fall, I expect an outstanding vibrant show, overall,” said Bill Ostrofsky, forest pathologist for the Maine Forest Service.

Maine Forest Service rangers and state park rangers in Aroostook County and northern Penobscot and Piscataquis counties report subtle changes in the foliage with peak conditions still weeks away.

As overnight temperatures drop into the 40s and daylight decreases, rangers expect a gradual change in leaf color from north to south culminating in peak conditions in late October.

For continuous weekly updates every Wednesday through October 16 visit the state’s official foliage website at MaineFoliage.com. The website will list dates, times and locations for fall foliage hikes in state parks as the season progresses. Visitors can sign up to receive weekly reports by emails while sharing photos of the changing foliage on Facebook. The website also will list fall foliage ranger-led hikes in the state parks.

For information, go to www.visitmaine.com  or call the Maine Office of Tourism at 888-624-6345.

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