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Autumn in July?

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When I worked at a children’s camp, we would close down around the third week of August. And, when you looked across the lake, you could always pick out a half dozen trees that had started to turn color. Most of the color changes in New England begin during the second half of September and peaks during October. However, I’ve received over 20 emails making an observation that trees are already starting to change color, and it’s only July. In fact, some of the reporters are from Virginia and Kentucky.

I’m not sure that early foliage is an indicator of a bad winter; it may be the result of the trees being stressed by unusual amounts of heat and humidity. We’ll talk more about fall foliage in the weeks ahead. Are you seeing the colors change on your trees, and if so, where do you live and what is your theory on the reasons for it? Let us know below.

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1 Joyce Bonomi { 08.19.17 at 5:54 pm }

I live in SW Idaho. We just noticed our Pear trees leaves turning red already.

2 Sherry Powell { 07.30.17 at 8:12 pm }

I’ve started noticing the leaves on the trees changing early this year (July 2017). It seems to be several have started and they’re already red’s, rust, yellow’s, orange’s and in smaller trees every leaf has already turned. We’ve had some high humidity days but only 3 or 4 days of high humidity. We’ve received a good bit of rain for the month of July. I truly dont think it’s excessive rainfall or to many hot humid days. The problem seems to be trees in the woods or along rural routes where no one is around or vehicles can reach. Could it be disease in a specific area or is it a bad sign of weather to come?

3 Bea { 08.22.16 at 3:22 pm }

I live in North Central Arkansas and this year our White Oaks have been losing their leaves (after turning brown) since the first week of August. We are concerned that we
are losing our trees to a disease. July was extremely hot & humid and some days in August have been unusually cool with low humidity.

4 Susan Stover { 07.28.16 at 11:01 am }

Hello! I live in Double Springs Alabama in Winston County and we live on beautiful Smith Lake! Our trees are turning yellow (poplar) and the maples are turning red already. I deliver the mail and have noticed other colors popping up over the last 2 weeks! Oranges and yellows and red. Temps have been in the high 90s but my theory is not the Temps, heat or humidity. We had an early spring, Temps hot earlier than I figure an early fall and winter will follow. There are some articles that the Iniut Elders spoke with Nasa and say the earth’s axis has shifted. Also articles about the earthquakes in Japan shifting earth’s axis making seasons and climates different.

5 Marie { 07.10.16 at 10:24 am }

I live just north of the Biloxi coast. My leaves are starting to change too(popcorn trees) they never start changing till Sep. last year it was August. This year July. Yes it is very hot very early here. We have been living in heat exceeding 100 degrees for 3 weeks.

6 Susan Higgins { 07.23.15 at 3:30 pm }

Hi Shahin: I would say stress. What times of trees?

7 shahin { 07.22.15 at 5:18 pm }

I commute from MD to Philadelphia and while lotta trees are changing color already. . But its usually along the rail lines or along the road at a lower level but not around the very top or very bottom of the same trees..
so I was wondering if it was due to pollution or stress…

8 maik anderson { 07.17.15 at 2:36 pm }

coastal north carolina.. for the last three years, the sycamores have turned yellow in July.. and re first to lose leaves completly…..

9 Carol { 08.17.14 at 11:04 am }

Live north of 54 in Alberta. First noticed yellow leaves in southern Saskatchewan at end July and then a lot were yellow and red on 10 Aug when I returned home. Very hot and humid, cool nights in both locations and no winds. No or little wind is strange for the prairies. All birds are still around, even little humming birds. Sure glad southern north America is experiencing the same thing, but it is strange.

10 Pat Kelley { 08.13.14 at 1:57 pm }

I live in Boston and am concerned the leaves are falling off some of our neighborhood trees already…what does this mean?

11 CD { 08.08.14 at 8:46 pm }

I’ve already noticed maples here in North Atlanta, Georgia, are turning in early August. And some trees are starting look get a tinge of color like they do usually at the end of August or early September. Also notice some acorns falling. Crazy!

12 ronaldwmcole { 08.01.14 at 1:13 am }

I live in Concord, Ca. This week has been hot with highs in the upper 90s. While we have a dry, low humid climate usually, we have had more humidity than normal due to the.monsoons that bring humid cloudy hot weather our way during.a.few.days.during the summer. (Not anything like the rest of the.US,though. It’s all relative.)
However, my two large maple trees usually don’t turn yellow until November and.often.last in Feb. But today, 7/31/14 I noticed several leaves that are mostly yellow, with a bit of green and brown spots around the edges and some in the middle. We are having a severe drought, but these trees get 20 mins of water per week. Is this a disease? There is not ANY sign of fall yet. Nights are barely getting to mid 60s.

What gives?

Befuddled in the SF Bay.Area

13 Quina { 07.23.14 at 6:01 pm }

I am in southern Ontario and I have noticed the leaves changing at least 2 weeks ago???

14 rachel { 07.23.14 at 10:02 am }

i live in Missouri and my walnut tree is already dropping nuts trees are changing colors and there’s not as many birds singing in the morning any more.

15 rachel { 07.22.14 at 1:38 pm }

Does anyone else think we are going to have an early autumn for 2014

16 karen { 07.31.13 at 10:47 am }

I just noticed the leaves at our post office r changeing…our weather has been weird too …cold nites. Stressing the trees…wonder what winter will b like

17 candace { 08.28.12 at 11:08 am }

IM in north dakota and I have been pointing it out for weeks that somthing strange is going on are trees started turning colors in july now they are going naked it looks more like the end of stemtmber a couple weeks ago i started noticing the rabits are all ready turning white the geese are flying back and i have also noticed all the spiders to and yes they are huge this year dont no what that means but somthing is defenitly going on

18 Jaime McLeod { 07.19.12 at 9:02 am }

Bobbi – It’s the weather around the autumn equinox that affects the color. You want warm, sunny days and cold, crisp nights for good color.

19 Bobbi { 07.19.12 at 1:53 am }

At my house in Fairfax, VA I can be sitting outside and its a hot summer afternoon but the leaves are changing already! I can pick out a few yellow and red leaves. When the wind is blowing theres leaves falling through the air. It was 97 degrees today so its DEFINITELY not fall! Its mid July. Will this hot summer impact the way the leaves change this year in the next several weeks when summer begins to fade away? oh, and I want to report a sign of winter: acorns are dumping and they are being made like mad! plus we have plenty of squirrels around our oak trees

20 John D { 07.08.12 at 8:58 am }

Live in Athens, Georgia for 10 yrs. I have never seen thus many leaves collecting on my lawn. As Im sitting outside right now , the wind is blowing and it seems like fall.

21 Misty { 09.25.10 at 12:19 pm }

I have seeb lots more colorful leaves falling earlier this year. Early to mid Aug,
and an abundance of spider webs, bigger spiders and even a few more in the the house. I heard more soiders mean colder harsher Winter. Is this true. I live in Seattle and 2 years ago I was so excited when we started getting snow. Then people were getting irked at me because I it keot snowing. I did not mind, my husbadn drove me to work. I work in a hospital and alot of people could not get in. I never wish for a snow again, ok maybe a little. isty

22 Patty Peery { 09.15.10 at 8:25 am }

Southeasst OH…. Our Tulip Poplars (live in the woods of Sugar Grove) started dropping leaves early July 2010.
Have no idea cause, other than the heat and humidity mentioned earlier.

23 Krystal Murphy { 09.12.10 at 10:41 pm }

I’m in Waynesville, MO and I have been witnessing trees starting to turn color since the 3rd week in July, more so south of here towards Springfield traveling down I-44. We just had the hottest and mostly dryest summer I have ever seen here and I have lived here almost 2 decades. Maples were starting reds and oranges, other trees were turning yellows. We now have alot of trees here in town already turning early that don’t normally turn until late October/early November. Some smaller trees are already completely turned and have dropped their leaves. We are starting to get alot of fog which we normally don’t see until October, and acorns are rapidly dropping off the trees which we also don’t see a whole lot of until end of September/beginning of October. A friend of mine said her husbands been looking at Persimmons and has seen alot of spoons. Been a few years since this part of the state got major snows, but it would be nice to see a good hardy winter seeings how I was born and raised in Upstate NY~! 🙂

24 skydancer { 09.09.10 at 12:53 pm }

Here in McLoud, OK, I noticed the leaves turning colors, yellow, orange, reddish about the middle of July 2010 this year, saw birds flying in a “V” toward the south as well early July which is unusual. Autumn feeling was in the air one morning, which is strange as it’s not suppose to be autumn yet…something is coming early for sure. The corn also here was harvested 2-3 wks early and was really good this year!

25 Barb { 09.02.10 at 9:29 am }

I live at 8200′ in north central CO (northern front range). Yesterday I saw my first aspen stand with leaves beginning to turn. From my experience, that is 10 days to 2 weeks early! They may be stressed… we’ve had lows in the 40s the past few nights and no rain since Aug. 9.

26 Bonnie { 08.26.10 at 8:55 pm }

I live in northern New Jersey and my maple tree has almost completely changed color. It started turning in July! This is the second year it has turned too soon. I hope it’s because of the dry and very hot weather we’ve had this year. I would hate to lose that beautiful tree.

27 J Chandler { 08.20.10 at 1:24 am }

About two weeks ago our five year old Norwegian Maple started to look strange fo this time of year – with yellowed and dried up leaves. We checked with the greenhouse and they told us the hail Denver had in June and July really stressed out a lot of the trees in the area. Now I am seeing almost all the maples in the area turning, as well as some oaks and others as well – in mid August?? I think that little tree knows something we don’t – perhaps an early fall and a long cold winter! I have even read that the sugar beet harvest in central Minnesota (where I grew up) is coming in the earliest ever recorded – and a big harvest at that. Something is up….

28 ivan { 08.18.10 at 7:00 am }

I live the San Gabriel Valley area of the Los Angels County, CA. I noticed that the weather has been changing, it’s hot in the day, cold at night and foggy in the morning. Usually Late Sept. weather. I think it’s going to be cooler tempeture wise. But i hope we get steady rain this year. We need it. Our reserves are really getting low.

29 TerryE { 08.12.10 at 1:22 pm }

I live in eastern Ky. and some of our foliage is drastically changing.Autumn is my favorite time of year so this thrills me.When the wind blows you see numerous leaves falling.

30 rlk { 08.11.10 at 10:21 am }

Here in ND the leaves don’t usually start to change until September. But I noticed two weeks ago (when it was still July!) that there were trees yellowing. Now there are lots of trees with orange and red leaves as well. To boot there were small groups of canadian geese flying south. However, some lilac bushes and crabapple trees look like they are preparing to bloom again and in the last week the weather has warmed up substantially. I don’t mind an early fall but I sure don’t want a long winter.

31 liz { 08.10.10 at 11:16 am }

I live near Columbia, SC. I have noticed the dogwood trees starting to turn and their little red berries popping out. Berries growing on the bradford pear a bit early as well. Haven’t found many leaves on the ground yet, but we have had extremely hot weather this year. Could be they are just dying.

32 jason { 08.08.10 at 8:17 pm }

I live in wisconsin and we are having the best growing season we’ve had in years. From maples to birches to oaks to ash, all are growing extraordinarily well. If this weather pattern continues we will have the best fall in years.

33 Randy { 08.08.10 at 6:52 pm }

Here in North Florida, I’ve been growing seeds for close to 12 years now. Some have already naturalized like the Cardinal Climber vine, that usually covers my fence and posts in the Fall time ( around Halloween in hot Florida) , but this year it is already ready to bloom and has covered all it’s going to cover! Does this plant already sense cooler weather is on it’s way?

34 MayaT2011 { 08.07.10 at 11:48 pm }

I live in Upstate New York and have observed lots of “fall-like” foliage on trees along the NYS Thruway. I’m thinking it has something to do with the lack of rain, coupled with high temps…However I’m hoping it indicates a traditional (long, cold, and snowy) winter…:)

35 coppertiger { 08.07.10 at 7:09 am }

I live in Iowa & the tree’s here are starting to turn color & falling of the tree’s. The tails on the squirrels are getting really puffy & plus they are starting to barry nuts & stuff.

36 CoCCrafters { 08.05.10 at 12:44 pm }

Here in Central Western Montana I have noticed many Choke Cherries, Buck Brush and Aspen are turning already. This kind of color you usually see late September to get you ready for full blown fall. We have had an excessively moist year and our runoff is still flowing, usually quits in early July. If winter will be hard and cold, I am expecting wet as well.

37 technonana { 08.04.10 at 7:50 pm }

Here in Ozark Mtns of North Central Arkansas, my sycamore trees have lots of yellow leaves and lost a lot of them. Some of my dogwood trees leaves turned brown close to the trunk. The heat and humidity without much actual rainfall here could be causing it.

38 londonliz38 { 08.04.10 at 3:40 pm }

I live in Columbus, OH and several weeks ago I begin picking up small amounts of yellow leaves that have fallen out of my maple trees. In a way, I do hope it is going to be an early autumn, I sure dislike the extremely hot weather this summer has brought.

39 sherok { 08.04.10 at 10:29 am }

I am in southeast Texas and I noticed the crepe myrtles are yellowing and thinning. A few different types of trees in the neighborhood look a little golden too. It has been so hot & humid I look forward to the cooler temps but I really don’t like naked trees.

40 Linda { 08.03.10 at 10:32 pm }

today traveling in upstate NY, I saw 3 trees that already have changed leaves and some are falling to the ground already. HOpe this dosen’t mean an early winter!

41 enb { 08.03.10 at 5:37 pm }

My 11 year old son planted a tulip tree last year (he loves trees).
This year its about 6.5 ft tall and big beautiful leaves.
Last week I noticed that some of its leaves were turning bright yellow as they do during the autumn season.
More leaves keep turning everyday. All the leaves are healthy and we’ve had rain plus I water.
Last year at this time the leaves were still green.
I don’t have a theory about it but I know it makes me excited for the upcoming seasons.
Autumn and winter are my absolute favorite times of the year!!

42 snowlover { 08.03.10 at 4:08 pm }

Yes here in Richmond, VA I’ve noticed about 2 weeks ago that some of the trees were turning yellow, or a pale green. At first I thought that it was due to the lack of rain, or high temperatures; but now I’m not too sure. The tree appears healthy, and we’ve been getting a bit more showers. Is it my imagination? Have all the 100 degree days cooked my brain? I think not. I think that we’re gonna have an early Autumn. Sounds funny, and I can’t explain it; but it seems as if Fall is in the air (as my Grandmother used to say). Can’t wait:)

43 Ladybee { 08.02.10 at 7:58 pm }

The buckbrush in woods are turning yellow, but my concern is there are no new pine cones or fir cones for squirrels in Pacific Northwest

44 Terry Machian { 08.02.10 at 4:00 pm }

I live in Hillsboro Oregon, and some trees are beginning to change, my feeling is that we are in for harsher than usual winter.

45 Brandi { 08.02.10 at 3:19 pm }

I live in the Gulf Coast region of Texas and noticed that a lot of the crape myrtles and tallow trees down here have red and gold leaves on them. I just noticed this on one my own crape myrtles yesterday, but about 75% of the leaves on it have turned.

46 amy { 08.02.10 at 11:50 am }

Here is southwestern CT., I am seeing the tips of leaves turn yellow and some reddish. I am hoping that this means a snowy winter!!!

47 Christina Boyd { 08.01.10 at 12:06 pm }

Lake Gregory California I’m looking out my deck and I can see a few trees that have changed from green to red/yellow leaves at the very tops of the trees. It is been a very mellow summer here so far.

48 tea_cee1 { 07.31.10 at 10:35 pm }

Reynolds, Ga. Just mentioned to husband that the Sweet Gum has more yellow leaves than a week ago. It’s dropping them too and the Turkey Foot Oak has gone red. We’re averaging about an inch of rain per week but have had high temps.

49 TheMaineMan { 07.30.10 at 6:44 pm }

I’ve seen a couple of random trees, all maples, that have a mix between red and green leaves. Looks like Christmas colors. However, most trees are the normal green.
I think it is the heat that is stressing them out… lack of rainfall too.

50 okie333 { 07.30.10 at 5:25 pm }

Here in Tulsa, OK, there are a couple of trees that have yellow on the tips of the top leaves. One or two leaves even have dull red-orange (NOT brown) at the tip, bright yellow in the middle, and green near the stem.

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