Fall Color Report

Fall Color Report for Week of October 6, 2013

Oct 7, 2013
So, how is the color out there this week? Well, I would say that it is good, but still not yet at peak. It’s about 40% colored up with 60% to go.  At higher elevations, like at Tynecastle on Rt. 105, and on the upper slopes of Grandfather Mt., it is more like 60-75% colored. This coming week will be good for leaf looking, but next weekend will be one you should not miss, and I think the same can be said for the weekend after that. The rains last night (Sunday) did not do too much damage,...

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 29, 2013

Sep 30, 2013
This is the first weekend of autumn and also the first time I can report that fall leaf color in the mountains is beginning to show in earnest, especially above 4,000’ elevation.  Check out the photo attached which I took at Tynecastle, at the intersection of Rts. 105 and 184, near Banner Elk, and just west of Grandfather Mountain State Park.  The sugar and red maples are coming out and should peak at the higher elevations by next weekend.  American ash is turning also (a dull...

Fall Leaf Color Report for Week of September 16, 2013

Sep 16, 2013
The forecast for this week is, in a nutshell, the same as last week: Green!  Trees in the High Country still have most of their leaves, and there is isn’t much to report right now.  Yellow buckeyes are about the only tree species to show a significant change: most have started losing their leaves (remember, these trees are early to leaf out, and early to lose them in the fall – the botanical equivalent of early to bed, early to rise!).  However, they also get a leaf fungal...

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 8, 2013

Sep 9, 2013
Yesterday I took a nice walk with my daughter Gabriela and her dog Hanna, around Bass Lake, just south of Blowing Rock, NC.  The lake is part of the original Cone Manor Estate and now a part of the National Park System (http://www.blueridgeheritage.com/attractions-destinations/moses-cone-manor).  The first floor of the manor (known as Flat Top Manor) is open to the public and houses a craft center.  It was built in 1901 by Moses Cone, a textile magnate at the turn of the 20th...

Fall Color Report: Week of October 29, 2012

Oct 29, 2012
In the years that I have been reporting on fall color, I have rarely had to contend with hurricane-induced snow storms, but that is what is forecast for this week as Hurricane Sandy moves up the east coast this week and combines with a cold front coming in from the upper Midwest. According to the latest weather reports, significant accumulations of snow are expected for the southern Appalachians in North Carolina, all the way down to Asheville. Some 15” of snow may fall at the highest...

Fall Color Report: Week of October 21, 2012

Oct 21, 2012
Well, you know the dictum – it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature! You may remember that last weekend I said it was probably peak color time for the Boone to Grandfather area. But I was wrong, to say the least! After a drive off the mountain on Saturday, Mother Nature surprised me by bringing out the brilliant reds from the red maples and oaks, contrasting them against the bright yellows of late turning sugar maples. This combination brought out the colors all along the eastern flank of the...

Fall Color Report: Week of October 14, 2012

Oct 14, 2012
This was the peak fall color weekend for the Blowing Rock to Grandfather Mountain region, and fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway was brilliant and awe inspiring. I think the leaf color will last through this week to the upcoming weekend. If you are planning to come up this week or next weekend, there should still be color in this area of the High Country, even though it may be slightly past peak. There are still many green trees starting to turn, so colors should persist for a while. For...

Fall Color Report: Week of October 7, 2012

Oct 7, 2012
While this past Saturday was beautiful, and hopefully people enjoyed the fall colors in the High Country, Sunday turned cloudy, rainy and cool. Monday is supposed to be partially dreary also, but then after that, the weather reports look very promising for a sunny end to the week and cool, clear days on the weekend, all the way from the Smokies to the Virginia border. That’s good, because the colors in the Highlands/Cashiers and Boone areas are going to peak by mid-week, and those colors will...

Fall Color Report: Week of September 30, 2012

Sep 30, 2012
After driving around the mountains this week, I feel comfortable saying that the timing of peak color for this year should be on schedule with past years. Although some trees turned early this year (dogwoods, sourwoods, maples), the rest of the trees seem to be progressing at their usual pace, and based on what I saw this weekend, I think the colors will peak between next weekend and the following one, putting them right on their usual schedule.For the Boone area, I notice that there are...

Fall Color Report: Week of September 23, 2012

Sep 23, 2012
I'm happy to report that fall color is now showing up on most mountain slopes in the High Country. The hills are still mostly green, but just driving on the roads, or hiking on mountain trails, you can see the beginnings of fall color dotting the slopes. As expected, the best developed color is at the higher elevations, especially above Stack Creek on the eastern flank of Grandfather Mountain. This one ridge always peaks early each season, but it also has some of the most spectacular color each...

Fall Color Report: Week of September 16, 2012

Sep 16, 2012
Fall Color Report for Week of September 16th, 2012 This report marks our first official fall leaf color report for the 2012 Fall Color Season in the North Carolina Mountains – that is, we are now up on VISITNC.COM and will be here for the duration of this year's fall color season. Many of you have been writing me and wondering if the record warmth we've experienced this year will affect fall leaf color, and I've been telling everyone that since this is an unprecedented year in terms of warmth...

Fall Color Report: Week of September 10, 2012

Sep 10, 2012
This Sunday, a high pressure system from the upper Midwest moved into the North Carolina Mountains, bringing with it sunny, dry, and cooler air. Temperatures on Sunday got as low as 46oF, which is great sleeping weather and also just what the doctor has ordered for a good fall display! We are about four weeks away from peak color in the Boone area, and if the weather conditions stay like this over the next three weeks, we should expect a good fall color season.We are fortunate not to have had...

Fall Color Report: Week of September 4, 2012

Sep 4, 2012
Greetings from the Fall Color Guy for this Labor Day Holiday. I've been down in Madison County, GA celebrating my son's 24th birthday, and eating some good BBQ and grilled steaks. The Piedmont area of Georgia is getting some of the leftovers from Hurricane Isaac in the form of some much needed rain. Today, as I drove back to Boone, I went through several thunderstorms, and it's raining tonight here in the mountains. That's good for eventual fall color development, and although it's gotten warm...

Fall Color Reports – First Observations for Fall 2012 August 26, 2012

Aug 27, 2012
By Dr. Howard S. Neufeld, Professor of Biology and The Fall Color Guy Department of Biology Appalachian State UniversityWelcome back from a long fall color “off” season.  Once again it’s time to begin reporting on the progress of fall leaf color in the mountains of western North Carolina.  This past year, as you all well know, was not only warm, but the warmest on record.  We barely had any snow accumulation and our minimum winter temperatures were relatively mild.  Luckily...

Fall Color for the Week of November 7, 2011

Nov 8, 2011
As of this first week in November, the trees in the High Country are pretty much done for this year. There is the occasional lone oak tree, standing red against a gray, leafless landscape, and a few late maples and Bradford pears (in town) still turning. But anything above 3,000’ can be considered finished for this season. However, a drive off the mountain shows that there is still some color below 2,700’ elevation. For example, the views off of Highway 181 just below Linville...


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