New Brunswick

N.B.'s fall colours brighter this year, says tree expert

If you thought the leaves were more vibrant this fall, you're right.

Bright, sunny days, cooler spring helped leaves stick around longer too

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      The changing colour of the leaves in autumn is one of New Brunswick's most impressive natural phenomena, and if you thought they have been particularly vibrant this year, you're right.

      Joanne MacDonald, a tree developmental physiologist, said part of the reason for this has been the abundance of the colour red in the leaves. That can be attributed to the weather.

      "We're having bright sunny days, we're having cool temperatures and we've had very little rain," said MacDonald.

      MacDonald said the mechanics behind the changing of the leaves haven't been widely studied yet, but the sun seems to have a lot to do with it.

      "It seems to be that the bright days contribute to the breakdown of sugars in the leaves, and the sugars get tacked onto the precursor molecule of the pigment," said MacDonald.

      If you think the leaves are more colourful than usual this year, you're not imagining things. Terry Seguin talks to a tree developmental physiologist. 8:49

      It's not just the weather in the fall that has made the leaves so magnificent,  Weather earlier this year helped too.

      "Leaves stayed on the tree longer because of what happened in the spring. It was a delayed spring, there was some events in the summer that delayed the development of the leaves," said MacDonald.

      MacDonald is even walking her dog more, just to enjoy the leaves, and has found a few spectacular views.

      "I like [the] Mactaquac area ... And I like the central uplands. You know, go up to Crabbe Mountain, up the Napadogan haul road into that whole central New Brunswick uplands, that's quite spectacular," said MacDonald.

      The leaves won't be here forever, but while some are falling others are still turning.

      "We're pretty much coming to an end for the reds ... but we will still see the aspens, the poplars and the birches. They're really coming into their own now," said MacDonald.

      With files from Information Morning Fredericton