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Seasonal Changes: My Red Maple in September

September 12, 2015
red maple no color September is the month of transition from summer to autumn, and in New England autumn is almost always called “fall” – short for “leaf fall,” which speaks to the importance of deciduous trees like my red maple in the life of the region.

The first third of September brought the hottest, most humid weather of the summer, so it has definitely not felt like fall. Nevertheless, as the autumnal equinox approaches and the days get shorter, the trees have begun to slow their photosynthesis in preparation for dropping their leaves and going into dormancy for the winter. Here and there in the woods around my house, I can see bits of the leaf colors usually hidden beneath the green showing through.

1st fall foliage

This does not seem to be the case with my red maple, though. Peering at its extensive canopy from my various vantage points at my bedroom window, on the front deck, and in the driveway, I don’t yet see any signs of the glorious color to come.

red maple canopy september

This post is part of Lucy’s tree-following meme at Loose and Leafy. Visit her blog to see what’s happening with other trees that bloggers are following.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2015 2:40 am

    I love watching the leaves turning in autumn, here in our part of Australia, we have many deciduous trees and we are just waiting for the leaves to open on our Japanese Maples. It is interesting to hear that New England has had a warm September…. I wonder if we will have a hot summer this year….I hope not!

    • September 18, 2015 9:24 pm

      Gerrie, We have had an exceptionally warm September — although the meteorologists have promised us a return to normal temperatures for September in the next few days. This is a change I will welcome.

  2. September 13, 2015 5:18 am

    I hope I will be able to travel to the area where you live and enjoy the beauty of nature in fall. I did not have the chance to do it when I lived in the US. Red maples are just stunning in autumn.

    • September 18, 2015 9:28 pm

      Lula, Maple trees are the best in autumn — although I like the mixed oranges and scarlets of the sugar maples even more than the more uniformly red foliage of the red maples. The best time to see the fall foliage here is mid-October. In northern Maine, the peak color comes a bit earlier and in southern New England (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut) a bit later. I would love to host you for part of your visit if you get here.

  3. Ellen Bear permalink
    September 13, 2015 6:09 am


    • September 18, 2015 9:28 pm

      Ellen, I’m looking forward to the more fall-like weather we are promised for next week.

  4. September 13, 2015 10:12 am

    Hello Jean, it’s still all looking very green, the weather will be taking a turn for the worse, the days are getting shorter and the nights colder, but the only signs of autumn from the plants here are that the hosta leaves are starting to colour.

    • September 18, 2015 9:34 pm

      Sunil, One of the glorious things about fall in New England (as opposed to old England?) is that the weather usually takes a turn for the better — with lots of sunshine, high temperatures about 70F (21C), and the end of summer humidity. My hosta leaves have also begun to turn, along with rhododendron and some of the hardy geraniums.

  5. September 13, 2015 3:34 pm

    my fiddlewood is starting to turn orange, and my Japanese maple is thinking, about sending out new leaves.

    • September 18, 2015 9:35 pm

      Diana, Why is your fiddlewood changing color at this time of year? Does it go into dormancy for the summer?

  6. September 13, 2015 6:04 pm

    Even here in the Pacific Northwest that is dominated by evergreens and broadleaf evergreens we are starting to see the first signs of fall. The deciduous trees are starting to turn colors.

    • September 18, 2015 9:47 pm

      Charlie, The signs of fall are still very sparse here; but I think we’ll start to see color for real once we pass the equinox. Fall is my favorite time of year, so I’m eagerly anticipating the changes.

  7. debsgarden permalink
    September 13, 2015 11:37 pm

    Jean, I believe some of your recent weather was hotter than ours. Night time temps are dipping into the upper 50s here, and today’s high was only in the 70s. It felt very much like fall, and we are just beginning to see some change in leaves. I hope this means no more temps into the 90s till next summer!

    • September 18, 2015 9:49 pm

      Deb, I think you are right. We have had only a couple of days so far in September when daytime highs did not go up into the 80s, and even some days that hit 90! Not what Maine is supposed to be like in September. The saving grace is that, even on the hottest days, temperatures typically get down into the 50s overnight, cooling down the house.

  8. September 14, 2015 12:37 pm

    The fall color in the NE is always glorious and I look forward to seeing your beautiful maple transform with autumn’s arrival. In my own area, it’s still hard to believe that we’re on fall’s cusp.

    • September 18, 2015 9:50 pm

      Kris, I am hoping for a good foliage year. For that we need enough rain so that the trees aren’t stressed and then bright sunny days followed by very cool nights.

  9. September 15, 2015 1:35 pm

    When we were in Quebec people were saying the fall color was a little late to arrive. Here there is no sign of it yet, but you ordinarily wouldn’t see much until late September.

    • September 18, 2015 9:58 pm

      Yes, Quebec would normally get its peak color before we get it in the southern half of Maine. It’s not unusual here to see some foliage change beginning in late August, but there has been almost no signs of this type this year.

  10. September 25, 2015 3:15 pm

    It has been wonderful watching the sun appear to change course in the sky now as it slowly moves south on the horizon…and the trees slowing shift their green coat to a more colorful fall fashion.

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