It's the time of year when folks head towards the mountains to see the fall foliage. Those colorful leaf displays are coming just a little behind schedule.

Peak fall leaf viewing would usually be this weekend, but with temperatures remaining summer-like through September and into October, that's changed. The onset of fall colors is delayed for about a week. 

Dr. Howard Neufeld is a plant physiologist at Appalachian State University and a leaf expert who writes the university's Fall Color Report. He says that due to drought conditions as well, some more sensitive trees did start dropping their leaves early, but not all.

“Most of the trees in the woods are fairly large and have extensive root systems,” says Neufeld. “So even a 7-week drought, even though it stressed the trees, I don't think it would eliminate their ability to go through fall color. It might shorten the duration of the season, but with this rain we just had, it may alleviate that problem.”

While mountain leaves are off schedule, Neufeld says things should be about the same in the Piedmont, with colors peaking between the first and third weeks of November.

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