Fall Color Report

Post date: 09/30/2014
 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 know for sure until next weekend (weather is a big factor here!).On a few hillsides in Ashe County, particularly west of...
Post date: 09/22/2014
 Leaf 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 Asheville down to Highlands, and around Mount Mitchell.Color should pick up each week now, starting at the higher elevations, and working its way downslope....
Post date: 09/15/2014
 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 color. What is unusual about most of these red maples, many of which are varieties of urban trees planted for their...
Post date: 09/09/2014
 Leaf 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 in the woods are the various native wildflowers that are reaching their peak now. These include a variety of asters, such as New York aster, as well as a large...
Post date: 09/03/2014
 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 normal pattern for this time of year and we're back to our usual "dog days" of August. As a result, there is not...
Post date: 08/25/2014
 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 could read last week's report and that would fill you in on this week!Of course, time does march on (I wonder how many clichés I can fit into one essay?) and some things did...
Post date: 08/25/2014
 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 coldest since the Boone station began keeping records 34 years ago, and in Jefferson, which has 82 years of records, it was the 3rd coolest July. For the state as a whole, it...
Post date: 08/25/2014
 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'm checking to see if it was a record cool) and some people wrote me asking what that meant for fall colors (I don't think too much...
Post date: 10/15/2013
 This week, plus the coming weekend, should be our peak fall leaf color times here in the Boone/Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain areas. A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway will present excellent viewing, especially at 3,000' and up. Colors are still developing at lower elevations, and won't peak for another week or so, but the views should be great nonetheless. Sugar maples are really gearing up now. In Boone, along King Street, and also on the Blowing Rock Highway, there are several large sugar maples that just explode in yellow-orange brilliance at this time, and you can see them...
Post date: 10/07/2013
 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, and most of the leaves are still on the trees. In addition, the weather forecasts look good for the...