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Maine reaches peak foliage

The majority of Maine and New Hampshire are at or near peak foliage, the most recent foliage report says.

MAINE, USA — Ahh, fall in Maine. Is there anything better? Sure, Maine offers incredible views year-round, but the foliage puts it over the top. 

This year, the fall foliage season came a little early in Maine due to the drought.

"The trees have been under moisture stress with the drought. I think that has helped contribute to the trees changing earlier but I've been pleasantly surprised by its color, the brilliancy is great,"  Kevin Smith a plant physiologist with the U.S. Forest Service, said this week. 

The most recent fall foliage report for Maine says the majority of the state is at or near peak foliage. The report, which comes from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF), says northern, western, and central Maine will reach peak and slightly beyond peak conditions this weekend.

RELATED: Drought impacting timing of Maine's fall foliage season

Coastal and southern regions are displaying moderate color changes with less than 50 percent color change.

DACF says typically, northern Maine reaches peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. The Department says the rest of the state’s color progression will usually start from north to south in early to-mid-October.

“The lack of rain this summer and the early widespread frost jumpstarted the progression of foliage colors this season,” Gale Ross, DACF’s fall foliage coordinator said in the report. “Color is still emerging daily in portions of southern and coastal regions of Maine beyond this week and into October. But remember, it has been the shorter sunny days, followed by the cool nights of autumn that brought about the brilliant colors being displayed this week. It’s Mother Nature’s way of protecting and putting her trees to bed for the long winter months ahead.”

While the drought caused the foliage season to come early, it didn't hinder the beauty of the foliage. 

Thanks to the Near ME tool on the NEWS CENTER Maine mobile app, we have no shortage of scenic photos to share. Keep em' coming!