Fall color in North Texas is capricious and ephemeral.
Often it’s too warm and too dry. Sometimes a strong storm sweeps all the leaves away. Or, a blue norther brings a hard freeze, leaving everything a lifeless brown.
But this year could be different, according to Don Smith, a retired University of North Texas botanist. The cold came early and is hanging around. There’s still plenty of sunshine during the day to make the magic happen deep within the leaves.
Photosynthesis slows in the fall, which makes yellow pigments in leaves more visible, Smith said.
When nights get cold, the nourishment meant for...