Leaves falling faster this year

VAIL — Side-by-side photos of a grove of aspens above Cascade Village show leaves in 2014 are not lingering as long as they did in 2013.

The higher in elevation the aspen are, the earlier in fall they change colors, says CU-Boulder Professor Michael Grant of the ecology and evolutionary biology department.

“Most aspens in the West reproduce asexually by cloning – sending out underground roots that then send up nearby shoots, which develop into aspen trees,” Grant said. “Typically, a clone will have one color, while nearby clones, which are genetically different, may exhibit different hues and timing of changes in the fall.”

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