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Fall Foliage Forecast: When will Maryland see the leaves change colors?

Here's your Tuesday morning news update | 9/19/23
Here's your Tuesday morning news update | 9/19/23 01:38

BALTIMORE -- This Saturday marks the official start of fall, but when will we start seeing the leaves change colors?  

The Maryland Department of National Resources has released its Fall Foliage Forecast for 2023.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Right now, Garrett County is the only Maryland county predicted to see the leaves change colors.

The Washington Post predicts that the rest of the state will begin to see peak colors around October 23.  

Why do the leaves change colors?  

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fall colors are determined by the leaf pigments, the length of night, and the weather. 

As the days gradually become shorter, and nights become cooler and longer, biochemical processes in the leaf are altered.

Various chemical compounds in leaves influence their pigments.

Carotenoids produce yellow, orange, and brown colors. 

Anthocyanin can make plants appear red, purple or black.  

Chlorophyll, which is a compound necessary for photosynthesis, creates a green pigment in plants. 

Temperature, and moisture, however - cause these compounds to be produced in different amounts, making every autumn unique. 

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