Looky, leaf-watchers! Dry, hot summer brings early fall

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Few Minnesotans can view changing trees, no matter how lovely, without feeling a bittersweet pang at the physical reminder that summer is ending.

Although summer is still technically on the calendar for three more weeks, KSTP reports the feel of fall is happening sooner than usual this year, with leaves dropping prematurely in some places around the state. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told the station that, ironically, a hot and dry summer plays a role in what looks like the early arrival of autumn. However, rain could slow the pattern.

The weather-stressed trees are also more vulnerable to dangerous pests. The DNR said that the emerald ash borer finds ash trees that are stressed more appealing, making it easier for them to spread.

Previously, MPR had reported that drought conditions in the northern section of the state could result in more brilliant hues for leaf-watchers.

The DNR offers a map that charts and updates the changing trees around the state.

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