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Peak fall colors in Kansas City area may soon fade away

Fall Foliage Will Peak Two Weeks Later Than Usual This Year
Posted at 5:43 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 18:43:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For those hoping to enjoy the vibrant red and orange autumn colors around the Kansas City area, this weekend may be one of the last opportunities to do so.

The Missouri Department of Conservation recommends visiting rivers and bluffs with forest views, conservation areas, state parks, parks and cemeteries to find the best views of autumn leaves.

The department reported that fall foliage around the Kansas City area has currently reached its peak color, and that the autumn colors could soon fade away.

"We will likely see a muting of overall landscape color as many trees will lose their leaves," the Missouri Department of Conservation said.

Urban Forester Michael Dougherty estimated that 40% to 50% of trees in the area have already lost their leaves, and the rest will likely shed in the next two to three weeks.

“Probably by the second to third week of November, around Thanksgiving, by then most of all the trees have shed,” Dougherty said.

Dougherty, who owns the Tree Management Company in Lenexa, Kansas, said that autumn leaves change as a result of factors such as type of tree, weather and sunlight.

"Some individual species shed their leaves after we have that freeze and moisture," he said. "Another is day length, as the days get shorter and less light, that causes fall coloration and for the trees to shed their foliage."

Dougherty also warned homeowners to keep an eye on their leaves with winter approaching right around the corner.

"If we have an ice event or a snow event with the leaves still on the trees, yes, they collect ice, they collect snow," Dougherty said.

That collection causes weight to build up, which can cause tree breakage and damage to property.

“Proactive pruning is very critical,” he said. “Have professional arborists assess trees and make recommendations on how to properly prune them to reduce breakage.”