SCOTLAND could be hit by two autumns, according to experts.
The Woodland Trust say the country is due to be hit with a “fool’s gold” autumn prior to the real deal, even though the two may look alike..
“Autumn gold is triggered by fading sunlight and cold temperatures,” said Andrew Fairbairn of Woodland Trust Scotland. “The leaves lose the chlorophyll that makes them green, producing spectacular yellow and red displays of autumn colour.
“Fool’s autumn gold is different. It’s the trees still struggling to recover from a dry spring. They wilt and drop their leaves early to save water.
So this year we might have two separate events that look like autumn – the real one and the fake.”
While the summer months were unseasonably wet, a dry spring is thought to have caused many trees to show early autumnal colouring and leaf fall.
Already the charity is proclaiming that 2011 is the earliest autumn on record.
The Woodland Trust is now asking the public to record the dates of true autumn colour on their VisitWoods website.
Professor Tim Sparks, nature advisor to the Woodland Trust said: “Autumn is the best season to get out and make the most of our trees and woods, the beautiful reds, browns and golds are an awe-inspiring sight. We’re calling for the public to help us record the changing seasons, which helps inform scientists about the effects of climate change on our native flora and fauna.”