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Pockets of colorful fall foliage still abound

Mary Ann Thomas
| Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 5:18 p.m.
Cheryl Clowes of Upper Burrell enjoys a walk amid the fall foliage with her dog, Jake, at Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Cheryl Clowes of Upper Burrell enjoys a walk amid the fall foliage with her dog, Jake, at Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.

Some pockets of colorful foliage still abound locally, and the season's last holdouts — oaks and beeches — are showing off their colors later in November than usual because of the unseasonably warm October, according to a state environmental expert.

Ryan Reed, an environmental educator with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said fall leaf-peeping season has lagged by one to two weeks.

Although Southwestern Pennsylvania and other parts of the state had their fall colors peak in the past two weeks, there's still quite a show left where multiple species of oaks reside, Reed said.

“If you can find those isolated patches of oaks on a ridge, you will find fantastic color,” he said.

The weather changed the timing and intensity of this year's foliage display.

The wet summer caused vigorous tree growth, but the excess moisture also led to fungus attacking some maples, especially those in lowland areas, Reed said.

That doused the intensity of the flame orange and yellow leaves in some areas, he said.

Dry conditions in August through early September caused “many trees (to) cut their losses and shed their leaves,” Reed said.

Cold nighttime temperatures in late October and early November helped the fall color pageantry rally.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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