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Sep 20, 2016 8:32 AM

Peep leaves fast - fall foliage season might be cut short by NH drought

The Associated Press

DOVER (AP) — Dry conditions from an ongoing drought in much of New Hampshire could cut short the state's lucrative fall foliage season.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that across southern New Hampshire, maples and other leafy trees known for their vibrant hues are changing color or dropping their leaves early - a potential sign of distress.

Kyle Lombard, of the state Division of Forest and Lands, says tree-targeting insect pests are thriving this year due to the dry weather.

Lombard says parts of Coos Country and areas on the western side of the White Mountains won't have any color this year.

Some foresters say drought conditions won't necessarily affect the foliage.

Foliage season is a big part of the state's economy. More than 9 million people spent an estimated $1.34 billion last fall.

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