UNDATED -- The wet weather this summer may have a benefit when it comes to fall colors.

Val Cervenka is a forest health program consultant with the Minnesota DNR. She says ample rainfall allows trees to grow healthy, green leaves rather than store moisture for survival.

The next ingredient for brilliant fall colors is plenty of sunshine.  Sunny days and cool nights are needed as the sunny days help the leaves create the necessary sugars, while the cool nights traps those sugars in the leaves and ultimately creates the vibrant fall colors.  If the skies stay cloudy, Cervenka says it could put a damper on the fall hues.

If we have an early freeze, the process will surely stop and the leaves will begin to fall.

Cervenka says the leaves that turn yellow are a result of the chlorophyll breaking down when the growing season ends and will happen regardless of whether fall sunshine is present.

The DNR has launched its annual Fall Color Finder which tracks the transition of the leaves across the state.

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