City Cast

What to Know About Fall Foliage and Autumn Leaves

Blake Hunter
Blake Hunter
Posted on October 27, 2022   |   Updated on June 15
This map, created using NOAA data, projects that Idaho's leaves will be gone by Nov. 7. (Smoky Mountains)

This map, created using NOAA data, projects that Idaho's leaves will be gone by Nov. 7. (Smoky Mountains)

It took us a while, but it’s officially fall! It’s chilly, there’s snow on the foothills, and the leaves are turning colors.

This Fall Foliage Prediction Map
shows that the Treasure Valley should be past the peak of fall colors — but looking out my window, I still see a lot of green. But that’s not just because we’ve had unseasonably warm months for September and October.

Temperatures often have less impact on leaves changing colors than people realize. The majority of the change is attributed to daylight loss, which is probably my biggest gripe about fall, but I digress.

The changing of the colors to reds, oranges, and yellows is actually a reveal of what trees would look like year-round without the presence of chlorophyll. When leaves are green, there’s a high concentration of chlorophyll, and when leaves change colors, that’s a sign that the tree has interpreted weather patterns to indicate it’s time to stop producing chlorophyll for the winter.

This time last year, almost all our leaves were gone. So if our leaves aren’t still here because of the temperature this year, why are they still here?

Well, we’ve not only had a warmer-than-normal couple of months, but they’ve been incredibly sunny. The rain we’ve gotten this week hasn’t been seen for months, so even though our days are getting shorter, our trees have had more days of 100% sunshine than they normally get this time of year. Yay for more green!

Hey Boise

Want to know what's happening in Boise? Sign up for our free newsletter, Hey Boise. Packed with local news, curated event recs, local life hacks, and more, it's your daily toolkit for getting the most out of the city you love.

The latest in Boise