LUBBOCK, Texas — Autumn made its arrival less than two weeks ago, and Lubbock is welcoming cool weather, harvest festivals and of course beautiful fall foliage.
A 2023 interactive map by Smoky Mountains National Parks showed when leaves are predicted to start changing colors on trees across the U.S. According to the map, the South Plains is expected to see minimal foliage beginning October 16 and peak foliage by November 13.
Lubbock Arboretum president John Wallace said a few things need to happen before fall foliage begins though.
“We’ll need a freeze — that’s really pretty necessary,” Wallace said. “We need to see 22 to 38 degree temperatures.”
The first frost, according to Wallace, typically happens between late October and November. Last year, Lubbock saw peak foliage around early November, Wallace added.
According to Wallace, when the leaves will change colors also depends on the type of tree or shrub. Heat and heavy rain, especially on deciduous trees, can impact leaf color patterns, meaning they could fall off before they’ve even had a chance to change color.
“The leaves need to stay on the trees,” Wallace said.
Trees need to stay healthy too, and Wallace said a variety of scientific factors affect when Lubbock nature enthusiasts can expect to see those colorful leaves.
Click here to see the full 2023 Fall Foliage Prediction Map.