Fall Color Report

Fall Color Report for Week of August 30, 2015

Aug 31, 2015
As the end of August approaches, we’re starting to see the very beginnings of fall color, but only sporadically.  The forests are still quite green and lush, but the sentinels, those early turning species, are letting us know that bigger things are in store over the next few weeks.  Burning bushes are starting to turn their vivid red (Euonymus alata), and dogwoods (Cornus florida) are slowly turning a deep burgundy red.  There are a few scattered sugar and red maples that are...

Fall Color Report for Week of August 23rd, 2015

Aug 24, 2015
Although it is technically still “summer”, there are signs that the trees are getting ready for fall and winter.  Here in the High Country (otherwise known as the Paradise of the East), the dogwoods have already started turning their deep red.  The photo attached is of three trees growing across the street from my house.  They are among the first trees to turn each year.  Some red and sugar maples, which are also early turners, have begun to turn orange-red or yellow,...

Getting Ready for Fall Color!

Aug 21, 2015
OK, Fall Leaf Color Devotees - The slumbering bear is awakening and getting ready for yet another fall leaf color season in the mountains of western North Carolina.The spring and summer have not been too remarkable this year. While it's been hot off the mountain and getting drier (central NC is now officially in drought status, and even a bit of the mountains too!) it hasn't been so severe yet as to cause excessive stress to the trees. Remember, a little drought is thought to heighten the...

Fall Color Report for Week of October 26, 2014

Oct 27, 2014
Fall foliage color is still there to see in the Boone area, but the quality is quite different now.  We have mostly yellow leaves (tulip poplars, ashes, a few birch, white oaks, magnolias, and especially beech now), but they are accented by the very deep, rust red color of the oaks (black, red and scarlet).  A few red and sugar maples are still showing nicely, but the peak of bright red has passed.   However, I find these colors are still worth viewing! There is good...

Fall Color Report for Week of October 19, 2014

Oct 20, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of October 19, 2014 Gab and I took a drive all the way down to Maggie Valley, where we chowed down on BBQ at Butts on the Creek before heading up to the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP).  We took the BRP from there to Asheville, about 71 miles of driving.  Prior to that, as we headed along I-40 through the Asheville area down to Exit 20, it was apparent that the trees were still developing their color –we saw a lot of green, although the upper elevations had...

Fall Color Report for Week of October 12, 2014

Oct 13, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of October 12, 2014Well, Mother Nature hasn’t been cooperating lately.  Today was quite rainy early on, and very windy at the high elevations.  This has caused a lot of leaves to drop off, BUT, there is still great color up here in the High Country.  So, don’t be discouraged.  If you’re planning a visit, come on up!Fall leaf colors are peaking right now below 4,500’ down to about 3,000’, which is the elevational range enveloping most of the Blue...

Fall Color Report: Week of October 6, 2014

Oct 6, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of October 4, 2014       I took a drive from Asheville all the way back to Boone on Saturday to personally check out the state of leaf colors.  The weather has been excellent recently, and the cold front that moved through over the weekend didn’t take down very many leaves, which bodes well for future color development in the region.  For most of the drive (from the Folk Art Center northward) leaves are still approaching peak,...

Fall Color Report for Week of September 28, 2014

Sep 30, 2014
 Leaf Color ReportLeaf color is breaking out all over the High Country this week.  I drove up into Ashe County (see my photo album that I posted yesterday) and there was abundant color scattered throughout the hills.  However, it’s just starting, so we’re not near the peak yet, but it is on its way.  And if I was to guess right today, I’d say the peak might come 3-4 days earlier than usual, which would put the peak around October 8-12, rather than the 12-14th But I won’t...

Fall Color Report for Week of September 21, 2014

Sep 22, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of September 21, 2014Leaf Color ReportFall officially starts on Tuesday, September 22 at 10:49 pm according to the web.  Fall leaf color though, has been going on since August, and it will pick up in pace in the next few weeks.  The forests are still mostly green, but this is the first week where you can really see color on the landscape, mainly at a few high elevation locations, such as on the slopes of Grandfather Mountain, the higher slopes outside...

Fall Color Report for Week of September 14, 2014

Sep 15, 2014
Leaf Color ReportThis week is the first in which I can report the leaves they are a’changing; at least at the highest elevations.   As noted by Jesse Pope, in my post yesterday, there is visible leaf color now starting to show up at the highest elevations, around 5, 000’ and on down to around 4,000’.  Below 4,000’, most trees are still predominantly green.  As noted last week, burning bushes continue to redden ahead of schedule, and more red maples are showing splotches of...

Fall Color Report for Week of September 8, 2014

Sep 9, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of September 8, 2014Leaf Color ReportNot much has changed from last week.  Most trees are still predominantly green.  Buckeyes are starting to lose their leaves, but then, they always lose their leaves earlier than most other trees (it's in their DNA to do so!). Burning bushes continue to redden ahead of schedule, sort of botanical slow burn.  Should be great when they reach their peak red color in a few weeks!  The main items of interest right now...

Fall Color Report for August 31, 2014

Sep 3, 2014
Fall Color Report for August 31, 2014For those who want a short (< 500 words) summary of the state of fall leaf colors here in the mountains of western NC, I will post my observations at the beginning of my report each week.  Then, below the report, I will provide an essay on trees that some of you may find interesting.  This way, you can get right to the fall color report and not have to wade through my science essays. This past week, the weather has moved back to a more...

Fall Color Report for Week of August 24, 2014

Aug 25, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of August 24, 2014    Sometimes nothing happens of much note from one week to the next.  That’s the story line for this week’s fall leaf color report.  Another word I might use to describe fall leaf color for this week would be “ibid”, which according to the English Oxford Dictionary, means “In the same source (used to save space in textual references to a quoted work that has been mentioned in a previous reference).”  In other words, you...

Fall Color Report for Week of August 17, 2014

Aug 25, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of August 17, 2014 I’m sorry I didn’t have any tree photos last week.  Your intrepid reporter was laid low by a recalcitrant kidney stone, which was surgically removed this past Tuesday.  He’s feeling much better now and so next week should be out and about again, looking for iconic photos of trees.  It is an understatement to say that this has been a relatively cool summer.  Using the metric of daily mean temperature, this July was the...

Fall Color Report for Week of August 10, 2014

Aug 25, 2014
Well, after a restful winter/spring, and with summer starting to fade, it’s time to renew our weekly fall leaf color reports.  I hope everyone had a good off-season and that you’re ready for our autumnal displays this year.   So, what’s the situation this week, and what does that portend for the fall?  This summer started off fairly dry and we were actually in a low level drought until some rains came later in July.  You may also remember just how cool July was (I’...


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