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Leaf colors changing fast in Green Country

Brandon Wholey takes a look at some hot spots around the area and the science behind the colors
Posted at 6:15 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 19:15:03-04

TULSA, Okla. — We're certainly seeing the leaves changing colors across the region right now. However, since we've had drought conditions this fall and this past summer, that plays a huge role in the foliage. With drought, that can make leaves change color earlier and the color lasts for a shorter period of time. Drought stress can also prompt some trees to skip the color change all together and their leaves just turn brown and fall off. On average, the peak for fall colors here in Green Country is the last week of October and the first week of November.

You can always send us your pictures of our beautiful trees to We can share them on-air and on social media.

In terms of the behind the scenes of leaf colors, it all starts when we have longer nights and cooler temperatures. That's when chlorophyll ceases production and the pigment in the leaf begins to change. Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color during the growing season. One pigment is called carotenoid, which gives leaves an orange color. Another is called flavonoid, which gives off a yellow color, and anthocyanin, which produces a red color.

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