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Fall Foliage: Sooner, But Still Vibrant

Autumn is almost upon us. The first day of fall is a week from Saturday and foresters from our area say the fall foliage will follow soon after.

Foresters say the peak of the fall foliage season is typically around the middle of October. But, because of the dry summer we’ve had, the leaves are starting to change already in some places.

Scranton’s city forester Tony Santoli has seen a lot of autumns come and go at Nay Aug Park. Santoli says it will still be a few weeks until it really looks like autumn at the park.

We may be in for a shorter than normal fall foliage season. But, Santoli says, even though the leaves may change sooner, they’ll still be just as vibrant.

“October 12 is usually the peak of the season. But, it may be a little earlier than that because of the dry summer that we’ve had. It may be a little bit earlier, but we’re going to have a tremendous season,” Santoli said.

Our Newswatch 16 meteorologists confirm we have had a dry summer. We’re about two or three inches of rain below the average rainfall for this time of year.

Foresters say that’s why some of the leaf colors are changing a little bit early this year.

The yellow leaves outside the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton did raise alarm for employees there. The impressive fall colors our area is known for are a main attraction on their fall train excursions.

Park ranger Joe Mucha says the fall trips always do well. But, the better the foliage the better the business. Autumn is the busiest time of year for the Steamtown National Historic Site.

“We can’t really tell you when the leaves are going to change or how long they’ll be on the trees, but we do have a lot of buses come in of people who want to see the beautiful leaves we have in the Pocono Mountains,” Mucha said.

Those fall train trips from the Steamtown National Historic Site in downtown Scranton start the first Saturday in October. Around the same time the foresters say the leaves will start to really show their colors.

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