Kentucky Fall Trees-Rebirth of Color in the Leaves

Wonderful information on the rebirth of color in the fall leaves and how this process is activated.

Oldham County Cooperative Extension Blog

Written by Billy Thomas, Extension Forester. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

kentucky fall colors

Fall Tree Color in Kentucky

All summer they’ve remained hidden beneath a green cloak, but as fall continues, the parade of brilliant tree leaf colors will slowly put on a spectacular show across Kentucky.

The fall colors have been in leaves all along, but they were masked by chlorophyll, a green pigment that combines with sunlight to produce food for tree growth. It might surprise you to know that this rebirth of color is caused by fewer hours of daylight, not “Jack Frost.” A “chemical clock” activated by shorter days tells trees to shut down chlorophyll production in preparation for winter. Trees then use chlorophyll faster than it’s produced. This removes the green mask, and the brilliant fall color show begins.

Fall color typically peaks in mid-to-late October. Due to Kentucky’s diverse climate and…

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10 Best Kentucky Hikes For Fall Color

Beautiful photos and great information for hikers, photographers, nature lovers and anyone who enjoys the outdoors and fall in KentuckyMain Trail at Dupree Nature Preserve © Craig Dooley

Kentucky Nature Lover

Crisp days and cool nights announce the arrival of autumn in Kentucky. The best way to celebrate is to get outside. While the Commonwealth boasts hundreds of beautiful trails, these are particularly breathtaking at this time of year. So put on your walking shoes, grab your camera and enjoy nature’s colors! (And if you get the chance, share photos of you enjoying fall with us on our Facebook page!)

  1. Overlook and River Trails
    Dupree Nature Preserve
    Difficulty: Easy
    Length: 1 – 1.5 miles

    The Dupree Nature Preserve features savannah, woodlands, views of the Kentucky River and the Palisades, and interpretive materials along the trails. Begin on the main trail from the parking area along a wide gravel path, through savannah grasses evoking the historic landscape of central Kentucky. Upon entering the woods, you can choose to take the shore-level River Trail or the Overlook Trail, which provides panoramic views…

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