LUBBOCK, Texas — Autumn is known as the season that brings beautiful fall colors with the changing foliage but most on the South Plains miss out on this seasonal occurrence due to the climate.
Texas A&M Forest Service is providing a way for people to enjoy these vibrant colors with a new app on their website called Texas Scenic Views.
This app allows people to see where the closest colors are in the state with scenic routes.
Texas A&M Forest Service Program Leader Jonathan Motsinger said he is excited to have a new way for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the season. He also mentioned that the site is user generated.
“If you’re driving around, you can actually enter a route where you have seen really good fall colors and other people can come and rate that route,” Motsinger said. “Giving Texans a great opportunity to see across the state where the leaves are changing.”
There are a variety of things that affect the color leaves change to but the biggest factor is the weather, according to the Forest Service.
Alternating periods of low temperatures at night and warmer temperatures during the day make for the most drastic color differences which is difficult for our area during certain years.
It takes the cooler temperatures in the fall to break down the chemicals in the leaf allowing the orange, yellow and red colors to show through.
“We get some good colors with some of our oaks but we don’t have a lot of maples which are one of the major color trees,” Motsinger said. “Trees that are prominent like elms are not going to have as much color change in general. They don’t have the right underlying chemicals to make a dramatic color change.”
As we enter the fall, most trees are shutting down production of sugars and are preparing to go dormant for the winter. It is recommended to cut irrigation back to once a month during the fall and winter months.
In addition, trees need to be pruned regularly for better health and the best time to do that is when they are dormant. In this part of the state that would be between late October through the middle of February.
To find the best routes for fall foliage check out Texas Scenic Views