Fall Color Report

Post date: 09/10/2012
 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 any severe drought this summer, and that's another good sign it could be a good fall color...
Post date: 09/04/2012
 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 again, the forecast is for significant cooling by next Monday.Not much is happening with...
Post date: 08/27/2012
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, we did not experience any severe drought in the mountains, nor have we had any such drought this past spring or summer....
Post date: 11/08/2011
 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 Ridge were excellent on Sunday, showing off mainly rust red oaks, some brilliant yellow silver maples, and a few...
Post date: 10/31/2011
 Well, nothing lasts forever, and that includes fall leaf colors. If they did, we'd get so used to them that they would cease to be a source of wonderment and beauty. So, take heart that at least in the High Country, we have had a great fall color season, and we are already looking forward to next spring when the leaves come out, hoping that the fall of 2012 is even better than this year!That all being said don't get the idea that there are no colors to be seen! Our fearless fall color prognosticators have been hard at work viewing the colors for you, and there is still some to be found...
Post date: 10/17/2011
 Some of you may have seen my facebook post a few days ago mentioning the 90 mph wind gusts on top of Grandfather Mt. Well, it was pretty windy all over the High Country this past week, and that did knock down a lot of leaves. Here in the Boone/Grandfather area, most of the leaves on exposed slopes have now come down, with only the isolated protected valleys, like Valle Crucis, still showing good color. The oaks, though, are turning their deep rust reds, which are providing some accent against the yellow tulip poplars in Watauga County.Elk Knob, which I hiked on Sunday, is mostly bare at...
Post date: 10/10/2011
 Foliage color peaked this past weekend for the Grandfather to Boone/Blowing Rock area of the North Carolina Mountains for areas above 3,000' in elevation. Above 4,500', colors have actually passed their peak. However, don't despair if you haven't yet made it to the mountains. There is still plenty of color throughout the mountains which should persist through next weekend. In fact, some areas haven't yet peaked, and this coming weekend should be their time to show off. This year has been a real guessing game with respect to how brilliant and intense the colors will be, but based on the...
Post date: 10/04/2011
 This has been an interesting week in the mountains. Beginning on Friday, the temperatures dropped, and the winds picked up. Jesse Pope, chief naturalist up on Grandfather Mountain, reports that on Saturday winds reached 60 mph with gusts up to 74 mph. Luckily, for most trees, they were still holding on to their leaves quite tightly, so even though some were blown off, most are still there, and if we don't get more wind storms like that one, they should turn color quite nicely in the next two weeks.Color is progressing, but it slowed somewhat this last week, perhaps because of the...
Post date: 09/26/2011
 This marks the first official week of fall, and between our last report and this one, the trees have responded dramatically, with very noticeable color changes occurring here in the mountains. I took a drive this weekend down to Linville Falls and Grandfather Mountain State Park, and there is a significant increase in color on the hills, although I must emphasize that the forests are still about 80% green, so the peak is yet to come.On Grandfather Mountain, color is very pronounced on the heath balds and rock outcrops. Above 4,500' color is quite advanced, and on the eastern and lower...
Post date: 09/21/2011
 With this report, your mountain fall foliage color reporters begin their tour of duty for Fall 2011. We have a suite of people prepared to bring you detailed reports of fall color changes from the northern part of the chain in Ashe County, down past Boone and Grandfather Mountain, past Mt. Mitchell to Asheville and Waynesville, then on down to Cullowhee and Franklin, and even including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each week we will summarize the state of fall foliage color here in the mountains so that you can better plan your trip up here.As of this week, things are still...