Fall Foliage Lovers

For fall foliage lovers it is that time of year when the gaze goes to the tree tops to see if there is any change of color. While a few leaves of yellow may be present sporadically, we have not reached the combination locally that will produce those wonderful shades of red and orange that are so anticipated. Recent surges in temperature are not helping the changing process. In order for leaves to reach their optimum change in color there are a hat trick of factors that must occur. The first is the weather must cooperate on two levels. It requires cool, but not freezing, temperatures for good color results. Additionally, the most productive for color change are days that are overcast with limited light. Lastly, there must be precipitation because changing colors is thirsty work for leaves.

As the days progress and there are more limited daylight hours, the changing of the leaves will become more prevalent. The dropping of temperatures earlier in the evening will also assist in the process. Typically, in the lower elevations of East Tennessee, some changes will begin to occur early next month and will peak late in October or early November depending on how long the above average temperatures hang around the area. For the mountains and higher elevations that schedule is moved up two to three weeks so those that really love the beautiful foliage can look forward to some color in a few short weeks.

Source: K. Depew, News Director