So why do some places have really spectacular autumn displays while others fall a bit short?
1. The type and age of the trees.There are plenty of trees that really add some vibrant colour displays from yellow to red to purple. Acers (maple trees) are one very good example.
2. The type of soil the trees grow in influence the general health of the tree, its leaves and the final colour display. Nitrogen level and the overall acidity of the soil are two important factors.
3. The summer weather will also influence the colours seen in the autumn, too little or too much sun earlier in the year will reduce the display when the leaves change colour. Droughts and floods can also have a negative impact.
4. Sugar levels in the trees at the turn of the season can be a big factor in the colour of the leaves.
5. The levels of air and soil pollution will affect the health of the tree and the uniform colouration of the leaves. Some species of trees are more resistant to pollutants than others.
6. The weather conditions in Autumn are also obviously very important. The best colour displays are favoured by dry, sunny autumn days and cool, crisp autumn nights.
7. How long the leaves stay on the trees – if the stormy winds arrive too early in the season, the leaves may fall before we get to enjoy their full spectrum of beauty.
So next time you are crunching through those leaves you may wonder why you are suddenly thinking of carrots and cabbages and cups of tea!