Officials: Brown County State Park trees stressed after drought, fall colors may not be as vibrant
Fall foliage may not be as vibrant this year
Last Updated: 247 days ago
BROWN COUNTY, Ind. -
Fall foliage provides a major boost to the Brown County economy each year as the seasons change, but because of this summer’s drought, officials say trees could be stressed and not as colorful.
Brown County State Park officials said thousands of people travel hundreds of miles just to see the park’s sea of trees change colors.
Businesses that depend on tourism are hoping this year’s colors are just as vibrant.
“It's almost like a kaleidoscope. It's the deep reds, the yellows, and the squirrels jumping through the trees. It's just beautiful,” one business owner said. “I hope with the recent rain we've had that it will help, but I'm scared (the leaves) will turn and then fall off the next week because it's still dry."
Naturalist Katie Kogler said despite the rain, some trees are still recovering from the drought.
"It looks to be in really bad shape right now. Usually, (the trees) would be green and have lots of leaves, but now, it's very bare,” Kogler said.
Business owners said the drought may discourage tourists who made plans up to a year in advance to see the trees change colors.
"Our busiest time is October. That's when the trees normally get their color. Most stores will do 20 to 50 percent of their business that month. It's that critical,” Williams said.
“Tourists love it. They (come from) Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville, and of course Indy. Tons of people come from Indy and all over,” retailer Dana Bacon said.
Experts said because the trees are stressed, they will change colors, but likely lose their leaves weeks earlier than usual.
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