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Insider Blog: Why leaves change, and where you can view them

You've probably already noticed that leaves in our area are changing quickly.  It's beautiful, and it has been for the past week.

Leaves are near their peak color here in mid-Missouri, which may have you wondering what it is that creates all this beauty.

As we get further into autumn, days get shorter and night get longer. This triggers trees and other plants to gradually stop producing chlorophyll, so they can drop their leaves and harden up for the impending winter. Before they fall off, bright fall days provide the sunlight that reacts with the leftover sugar stored in a tree's leaves. If conditions are right, this can lead to a colorful autumn.

If you have a color you want to see this fall, learn your trees, as each kind produces their own color palette. And right now is the best time to do it, as most of mid-Missouri is at or near peak color.

If you're planning on a weekend drive to see the hues our area has to offer, consider heading east, toward bowling green. Or, take a trip down to Herman along highway 94. Want to walk amongst the trees? Visit the mark twain national forest, or be sure to visit Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

Even if you can't get out of Columbia , you can get great views of the trees as they change on any of the trails here in town.

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John Ross

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