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Recent Rainfall May Salvage Missouri's 2012 Fall Foliage

Missouri’s fall foliage may not be a bust this year, after all.

Jim Low  with the Missouri Department of Conservation says things looked pretty grim until a cold front this week dumped several inches of rain in portions of Missouri.

“Trees were very stressed because of the lack of moisture," Low said.  "The photosynthesis going on in those leaves was minimal."

Low added, "Leaves need sugars that come from photosynthesis…with the rain that we have gotten, trees that still have green leaves, and there are a surprising number of them, will be able to make that last push of photosynthesis.”

Low says while some trees turned brown and dropped their leaves during the summer heat wave, those that still have green leaves have a good shot of going through their normal color changes this fall.  At the same time, the heat wave has also caused some trees to turn earlier than normal – fall colors are already being reported in north and central Missouri, especially in and around St. Joseph, Kirksville, Columbia, Jefferson City and the Lake of the Ozarks.

Weekly fall foliage updates for Missouri can be found here.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.