Fall into Phenology


What autumn changes do you notice in the plants in your neighborhood, schoolyard, or community? At Budburst, we are interested in what plants are doing throughout the year so we can understand how plants respond to changes in their environment. Fall into Phenology is a fun way for everyone to get outside to observe fall phenological changes around the country. Join us, observe a plant near you, and learn more about the stories plants are telling this fall! 

No need to limit your Fall into Phenology observations to leaf color and drop.  Watch for fall flowers, such as asters, and record first flower, or full flower.  Seeds and fruiting abound in the fall months.  Report all your phenology observations to your Budburst Account.  

Why Fall into Phenology?

One of the most frequent requests we get from scientists is for enhanced geographic coverage of observations. The more people we have participating across the country, the better geographic coverage we have, and the more useful the data is to scientists and researchers. Your data can and will be used to look for general trends, or they might be used to double-check and better understand remotely sensed data such as that taken by satellites, or they might be used by high school students tracking relationships between leaf color change and precipitation. 

How to Report your Fall into Phenology Observations

Fall Into Phenology was developed with your busy schedule in mind. It takes about ten minutes to report a phenology observation - whether status-based observations of leaf color or leaf drop for a Sweet gum tree you see while driving through a state park, or event-based observations of leaf color and leaf drop on the red maple you see everyday in your backyard.

To make your observation report follow these simple steps: 

  • Log into your Budburst Account - submit your Phenology Observation using your handheld device or record your observations on a field report form (downloadable from your plant's webpage and the bottom of this project page) and post your findings later. 
  • Track your data - check your Sugar Maple data from previous years in your Budburst Account, or view data from other observers using the Data menu.  Is this year's leaf color or leaf drop earlier or later than previous years? 

All phenology observation reports - whether status- or event-based - are helpful in understanding how plants respond to changes in climate and atmosphere over time. 

The goal of this campaign is to collect at least 500 observations from around the country (that's only 10 per state!). Watch for updates and track observations as they are reported.

Phenology Observation Forms

Wildflowers and Herbs - Phenology Observation Form

Deciduous Trees and Shrubs - Phenology Observation Form

Conifer Trees and Shrubs - Phenology Observation Form 

Broadleaf Evergreens - Phenology Observation Form

Grasses - Phenology Observation Form