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Here's what you can expect to see in Maine for this year's fall foliage

Fall doesn't officially begin until Sept. 22, but the summer-long drought in Maine may be to blame for some early fall foliage -- and spotty foliage, at that.

MAINE, USA — Fall is starting early in Maine this season, as bursts of orange and red can already be seen among trees in various areas around the state.

While fall doesn't officially begin until Sept. 22, the summer-long drought in Maine may be to blame for some early fall foliage -- and spotty foliage, at that. Colors will be determined based on the health of trees amid the drought and will likely be spotty, patchy, or muted, the Associated Press reported.

Mainers have witnessed an abnormally dry summer. Famers in the agriculture industry have felt the effects, and many members of the public have reported dry wells across the state.

RELATED: Maine's drought is forcing some farmers to make tough decisions

NEWS CENTER Maine's Meteorologist Keith Carson gave insight into which areas in the state will most likely be affected by drought when it comes to fall foliage.

"The drought is probably a factor in trees along the coastline turning this early, farther inland and into the mountains, the drought was less significant through the late summer, so it shouldn't be as big of an impact [there]," Carson said.

Credit: AP
The leaves on a tree stressed by drought turn brown, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Boston. This summer's drought is expected to cause a patchy array of fall color in the leaf-peeping haven of New England. Experts predict that it will be more spread out this year with some trees changing earlier or even browning and dropping leaves because of the drought. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The state of Maine released its first Foliage Report of the season Wednesday, highlighting Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry fall foliage spokesperson Gale Ross' thoughts on the start of fall.

"I like to remind folks that color change depends on the weather as we advance into fall," Ross said in the report. "Fall foliage conditions reports will be sent out each Wednesday through October 19, or until the last leaf drops!"

Wednesday's report notes there is little color change among trees, but it's expected to be a colorful season ahead.

"While some may have perceived fall coloration to be developing a bit earlier than usual in some areas and in some tree species due to the late summer dry period, peak color should develop normally from north to south," DACF Maine Forest Service Forest Pathologist Aaron Bergdahl said in the report.

According to the report, northern Maine typically sees color changes by the end of September and early October. The rest of the state will see its color changes from north to south in mid-October. As for coastal Maine, leaves will change in mid- to end of October.

Even amid Maine's ongoing drought that may affect fall foliage this year, there are still many spots across the state perfect for leaf peeping. Below is a list of places to visit in each of Maine's seven foliage zones.

Viewing spots in Maine foliage zones

Stay tuned each week for more NEWS CENTER Maine fall foliage updates.

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