By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Our soggy spring and now mild summer weather makes it feel like summer will be short lived this season.

In fact, some trees in St. Paul are already changing color.

Overcast skies, a slight breeze and when the sun goes down some folks have a hard time determining what season we are in here in Minnesota.

Most Minnesotans know this is not typical for August. Sweaters and jackets were well represented by walkers on the Nicollet Mall Saturday.

And adding to the confusion are the changing leaves on some trees.

But Mike Augustyniak, WCCO’s director of meteorology, says don’t go blaming the cooler temps.

“Temperatures really have nothing to do with how soon or late leaves change color,” Augustyniak said. “If this time of year leaves are changing colors…it’s one of two things: it’s either disease or a stressed tree – and this year it’s stressed trees because of our lack of rainfall.”

Remember last year’s drought? That lack of rainfall did not allow some trees to store water needed for winter, which can create stress.

Our most recent rain may not be enough to help keep this fall phenomenon from happening during the summer months.

Mike Augustyniak says most of our recent rainfall has come in heavy down pours, which typically runs off before it can be absorbed and beneficial to trees.

Experts say that even healthy trees can be affected by stress. They suggest watering your trees all the way up to the first frost to make sure they are stress-free.


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