Fall foliage season in Maine might be abbreviated this year after Wednesday’s storm.
The storm that left nearly 120,000 Maine residents without power on Wednesday took a toll on the state’s colorful display, especially in Aroostook County, according to Gale Ross, coordinator of the Maine Fall Foliage Report.
“Northern Maine lost a lot of leaves yesterday,” Ross said. “There are a lot of leaves on the ground, but there’s still color … I still recommend people travel to northern Maine to see it.”
Issued by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Maine Fall Foliage Report is a weekly update on how fall color is progressing throughout the state. The report is created from observations sent in by a network of state foresters, forest rangers, park rangers and other department employees throughout the state. Ross also refers to photos posted on social media by leaf peepers using the hashtag #mainefoliage.
Maine’s fall foliage season started a bit earlier than usual this year due to unseasonably cold and dry weather.
“Unfortunately, because of our really early frost and the drought — the drought did have a little bit of a play in the fall foliage season — [the fall foliage season] has really gone fast,” Ross said.
According to the report, which is released each Wednesday, much of Maine is set to be at peak fall foliage or just past peak fall foliage for the coming weekend.
“We really did [lose a lot of leaves],” said Forest Ranger Thomas Liba, who works out of the Moosehead District and contributes to the report. “But there are still some great pockets of peak foliage, and oddly there are trees that have very little change at all. I just flew from the office in East Millinocket to Jo Mary Mountain to east Seboeis Lake [this morning], and we’re seeing lots of leaf drop.”
Leaf drop due to the storm wasn’t as high along the coast and in southern Maine, where many of the leaves are still green. The report predicts moderate fall foliage (30 to 50 percent color change) in those regions for the upcoming weekend.
“I think there’s still color to be had,” Ross said. “I don’t think the wind and rain knocked everything down. I live in midcoast Maine and we’re still pretty green. We’ve got a little bit of a ways to go before we’re going to reach peak.”