Site details fall foliage

     AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and the Maine Office of Tourism will provide ongoing updates on gradual change in leaf color from north to south, culminating in peak conditions in late-October.

     DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb noted that forestry employees have been reporting foliage color changing conditions since 1959. This year’s reporting began Sept. 9, 2015.

     “The Department’s fall foliage website got over 500,000 page views last year,” said Whitcomb. “Many people and businesses use Maine’s fall foliage season to showcase products, events and the beauty of the entire state. We encourage families to enjoy this colorful season and use the website and weekly foliage updates to plan trips this month into October.”

     The site, www.mainefoliage.com, has a number of resources and tourism links.

     Bill Ostrofsky, forest pathologist within the DACF, said, “The overall timing of peak color change will be near average this year -– about the last week in September through the first week in October for the Augusta area; a bit earlier North, and a bit later South.  With a return to cooler temperatures, we should be in for a glorious season.”

     Forest rangers submit on-the-ground observations from Sept. 9-Oct. 21. A color key is updated weekly. Additionally, leaf peepers can register to receive weekly reports and submit their favorite foliage photos.

     Generally, the northern region of Maine is at or near peak the last week of September into the first week of October.