It's official: fall color has begun! Yellows and oranges are beginning to appear, although a good amount of trees are still holding onto green. But when will peak be? It's hard to say because it depends on the weather, and it depends on your definition of peak. But, we do know for sure that color has already begun, and usually continues into November, so make plans to see the Blue Ridge turn to gold.
From The Virginia Department of Forestry report from October 7:
Despite last week's heavy rains, the forest color palette is beginning to change this week in the higher mountain areas. At high elevations in southwest Virginia and along the Blue Ridge Parkway, yellow patches are most obvious, dominated by early sugar maples, hickories, black birch, and yellow-poplar. The upper elevations of Shenandoah Valley are also showing patches of yellow. All over the mountains, reds can be seen in early changers like Virginia creeper, dogwood, and black gum. Check out this under-appreciated species along roadsides, where it can be identified at a distance by its branching pattern, at right angles to the trunk. Meanwhile, shades of green will predominate for awhile in central and eastern Virginia.
In general, trees with greater exposure in any location are among the earliest changers and may even lose their leaves early if the weather is rainy or windy. But don’t worry, the show is just getting started, and there are still billions of leaves left to change! The last few sunny days will be especially helpful in developing the red and orange colors.
There are so many ways to enjoy the fall color, from hiking, dining, playing golf and tennis, or putting your feet up at the Spa or on your deck. But we've also got some upcoming events that you won't want to miss:
But fall color doesn't get any less spectacular if you visit midweek, plus a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway is less crowded! We've got a number of other great reasons not to wait for the weekend:
Last Edited by The Mountain Messenger on Wednesday, October 07, 2015
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