Fall Foliage in the Northeast

Recently the team assembled in New Jersey and while driving around, we started a conversation on how odd it is that the leaves haven't yet fallen.  Since I grew up in New York, I remember that by Halloween, most of the leaves were on their way to the ground, and certainly by Thanksgiving, the trees were bare.  But, it looks like a mid-September day with most of the leaves still on the trees.

Before anyone starts thinking about global warming, the Weather Channel has a story that explains it:

"With the extended daylight saving time period observed in most parts of the United States (a week earlier in the spring and a week later in the fall), the leaves will typically turn color and fall a couple weeks later than what we're accustomed to.  This is not due to the global warming."

Comments (5) -

James Byrd
James Byrd
11/11/2007 3:19:00 PM #

Well, that one gave me a good chuckle. Thanks.

So, how do you suppose the trees found out about the change to daylight savings time? Perhaps their branches act like an antenna so they can monitor the Weather Channel! It's a good thing they were paying attention.

Michael K. Campbell
Michael K. Campbell
11/11/2007 9:44:03 PM #

That doesn't make any sense though.

Assuming your memory is correct, and leaves are typically gone by now (or well on the way out), Daylight savings time isn't going to have any effect when leaves fall off of trees (since they don't keep track of hours anywho).

That said, I doubt the hysterical phantom of global warming is to blame...

Patrick Mueller
Patrick Mueller
11/12/2007 2:58:35 AM #

That makes absolutely no sense.  The trees don't follow daylight savings time; the days have not changed.  The same thing is going on here in Carolina as well.  And despite the drought conditions, my yard has been greener than it ever has through the summer and into the fall, that I can ever remember.  Weird.

11/12/2007 8:56:19 AM #

There's not more light or less light during a 24hr period because of DST.  Just a shift in the clocks.  How could that possibly affect the leaves?  Reminds me of the stories of how farmers were against DST because it might confuse the cows as to when they gave milk or chickens might get confused about when to lay eggs!  They'll do it same as always, just an hour earlier or later....

PS.  It is really strange how the leaves are still on the trees.  I guessed it had something to due with the low rainfall this year...

11/12/2007 5:19:54 PM #


OK, OK, you guys are right. 

Truth be told, my dad and I were sitting around complaining about the constant stream of bogus stories that folks e-mail around that Snopes debunks.  I joking said, "I need to start my own urban legend."

Then we started talking about the foliage up north and how many leaves are still on the trees.  So, the merging of the two ideas: create a bogus story about why the leaves are still on the trees.  See how it spreads. 

It was kind of fun actually.  Figured I'd throw in an element of misdirection (the global warming comment) and a hint of authority (the weather channel) -- but you guys are all technologists and not so easy to fool.  My mom, though ... Smile

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