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Expert Gives Optimistic Foliage Forecast

Expert Gives Optimistic Foliage ForecastUnlike last year, this year’s foliage will be vivid and long-lasting, says a Tufts plant biologist. Medford/Somerville, Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [10.14.03] While last year's fall foliage lost much of its luster due to a summer drought, this year is shaping up to be a lot nicer. According to George Ellmore, a plant biologist at Tufts, all of the signs are pointing to a bright and long-lasting season.

"I think the leaves are going to be quite vivid and they're going to stay vivid," Ellmore said in an interview with WBZ-TV4 News.

As the sunlight decreases and the temperature drops during the fall season, the bright colors of the leaves emerge. The same weather conditions that put a damper on New England's summer are responsible for the vivid colors.

"The factor that retains the leaves onto the trees is the water level reserved in the trees," he told the Boston news station. "We had a cool, wet summer and these trees are full of water. They're going to hold on to their leaves for a long time."

According to Ellmore, the best places to view the foliage right now are largely to the north of Boston.

"The Green Mountains of Vermont and the Monadnock and Lakes regions in New Hampshire are looking good, and so is eastern Maine," reported WBZ-News. "Here in Massachusetts, the Berkshires and Worcester County should offer a vibrant show."

Unlike in years past, the colors should last.

"This year, the window of opportunity to see the leaves is going to be a week and a half to two weeks, compared to last year where they fell off after about four days," Ellmore said.


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