By Nancy Allen
Many of the leaves in the Grand Lake St. Marys area have reached their peak and are starting to fade.
Local residents got out to enjoy the pretty fall foliage and warm weather on Monday, taking to local parks and bike paths for a stroll or bike ride.
According to the leaf conditions report on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Web site, last updated on Oct. 21, all trees throughout the state have reached their peak, with some starting to fade in northeast Ohio.
Drew Todd, a state urban forestry coordinator with ODNR, said bright sunny days and cool nights maximize the color of leaves.
"The cool nights keep the sugars in the leaves from moving into the twig ... and the bright sunny days make the leaves produce more sugars, which results in the pigment in the trees," Todd said. Todd said overcast skies, rain and wind are the worst conditions for good leaf color, because pigment-producing sugars in the leaves decrease and wind knocks the leaves off.
Excess moisture or lack of moisture in the summer preceding fall also has some effect on how vibrant fall foliage gets in a given year, but not as much as the sunny days and cool nights, Todd said.