Aspen Gold Rush

Colorado Quakies showing great color recently

Rob Carrigan
Posted 9/29/14

Local leaf peepers experienced some of the best shows — so far to date— this past week in Teller County, but it is still possible, the best is yet to come.

Color changes in Colorado’s …

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Aspen Gold Rush

Colorado Quakies showing great color recently

Posted

Local leaf peepers experienced some of the best shows — so far to date— this past week in Teller County, but it is still possible, the best is yet to come.

Color changes in Colorado’s Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) start first in the higher altitudes of subalpine zones, between 9,000 and 11,000 feet, usually in early September, and drop progressively to 8,000 to 9,500 feet in three to four weeks.

Variations in temperature, moisture and light cause the chemical changes to begin. Diminished light and fall temperatures trigger the breakdown of chlorophyll.

As green colors fade, yellow, orange and red pigments — carotenoids and xanthophylls — are left and become more obvious.

Cool, dry weather promotes the longest and best color show and wet weather, especially snow, usually shortens the viewing period.

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