AUGUSTA — Never mind that it was 90 degrees on Wednesday, that summer wasn’t giving in to fall, that fall doesn’t start until Sept. 23.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry released its first fall foliage report Wednesday.

The first report is always released after Labor Day, Gale Ross, the official fall foliage spokeswoman, said.

Within hours of the report’s release, it had more than 20,000 online hits, Ross said.

The report shows most foliage is still green. The color change and leaf drop is very low.

Trees in northern Maine are expected to reach peak conditions in about three weeks, the end of September and beginning of October. Trees in the central, southern and western mountain zones will be near peak conditions Oct. 6-18, and leaves in the southern coastal zone will peak Oct. 13-24.

Forest rangers have been giving reports on foliage conditions since 1959, but in recent years “it’s gained more momentum. People are jumping onto social media.” Ross said.

Foliage reports can be checked by going to www.mainefoliage.com. Leaf peepers can submit fall foliage photos. The site also provides information about fun things to do in Maine during the season, including free, ranger-led foliage tours in state parks.

The report goes out to those who have subscribed through email, Facebook and Twitter. “I’m hoping to start Pinterest,” Ross said.

When the trees start turning in October, the colors will be average, and a tad late in southern Maine, forest pathologist Bill Ostrofsky predicted.


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