Fall Color Report

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’...

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...

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