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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
451 posts, read 915,604 times
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Default Leaves changing quickly

We are suppose to have temps down in the 30's Saturday night. If there is a frost, colors will change faster. Colors are already changing, so don't wait till the middle of Oct. for the highest elevations, at least that is my opinion.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Asheville
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But also take into consideration that some trees are linked to seasonal timing and not weather. But nevertheless, my mention is only part of the mix. Here are a few exceptions.

In higher altitudes where it is automatically colder, the leaves often start to change before us and can be on the way downhill when we are having a riot of color, and this can even include the theory you can ride from Maine to Georgia in the Appalachians and get to see colors the whole way as one goes from snow into South. And there is another variable, and that is we almost always get an "Indian Summer" in early October, and this will slow the cold-responsive trees from totally changing over. AND, while mid-October is just about when they're ready to switch colors, we can have plenty of moderate shades all the way back in September, like they're doing now, and I can even remember one time when the leaves took off full-blast almost a week before mid-October, but this is balanced by how leaves don't hardly ever fall off the branches until at least almost a week after mid-October and usually at the end of October, but there was one time when they ran over a week into November. And I also remember a time when the leaves had not changed at all by the 20th of October, they were all green!

So, the basic rule of thumb is, if the weather is rather cooler or warmer or more rainy or dryer than usual for this time of year, we can wind up with a LONGER or shorter fall, on either end, with a very good chance that mid-October, you will catch some leaves in bright colors. But the best way to know is, and unfortunately this is NO HELP to people who need reservations somewhere, is to check the Asheville Citizen newspaper's photos online to see where the leaves are at, or checking at anyone's posts here depending on what part of WNC they live in as compared to where tourists want to go, or calling the National Park Ranger Station for the area of visitation.

I always worry about our tourists coming too soon or too late, when the colors are not at their "peak," a common phrase up here. But we get plenty of visitors before, during, and after that time... leaves do have colors in varying degrees throughout fall. If this little summary has been of no help, my mission has been accomplished. Ha! But could very well be Catbirds is absolutely correct, they do SEEM to be changing a little early. I also heard a prediction that we'd get some really great colors this year, but again, that's the prediction every year, and it really depends on how many drops of rain you feel on your head first full moon of October, and... well, you get the picture. Smile.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:52 AM
 
2,959 posts, read 2,300,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigimac View Post
If this little summary has been of no help, my mission has been accomplished. Ha!
I hear you!

The leaves have been turning here in North Georgia and Far Western North Carolina too. It's enough to make you think we will have an early fall, except that this has happened before ... even when the peak has showed up late.

The fact is that different species of trees turn at different times and it's just the right time for the early ones. We really do tend to have a long fall season.

It seems like our peak over here used to be about the third week in October, but lately it's been the last week of October into the first week of November.

I remember going on a trip to Asheville in the nineties and we were there the third weekend in October and it was the peak. Drove north on the Blue Ridge Parkway and it was glorious until we began to hit the high country and ran smack into winter.

It was our own fault though. Everyone in Asheville advised us to head south on the parkway.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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Can't rep you gigimac, but great post! That really explains it in detail.

I'm sure up in the High Country where Catbirds is at, the leaves are probably moving along a good bit quicker than ours. But even here, and I'm at ~2800 feet, it's moving right along.

Hopefully we get some great colors this year; we almost always do! :knocks on wood:
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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I was up on Beech Mountain last weekend and from Friday at noon until Sunday at noon.....big change! I was surprised!!!
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Asheville
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Ship O'Fools, I've tried to rep you before, too, and couldn't. I think we must be related. Smile. GG
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooting Stars View Post
I hear you!



The fact is that different species of trees turn at different times and it's just the right time for the early ones. We really do tend to have a long fall season.

.
Just from personal observation, seems to me the softer wood trees tend to go first. And also seem to be the most brilliant, colorwise.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:50 PM
 
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Not here (2500' elevation) I'm surprised that aside from a few leaves on the ground, it is nothing but green. Not even the species that turn early have any color.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
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Some species 'turning' here on the Mtn, at ~5,000 ft, though agree with AN, that there is still much pale green to faded blah. The gusty winds of the past few days have done a job on the weaker leaves, with some branches/trees getting 'stripped'...the usual species are slower to change than others. Had 36 and 35 degs the past couple mornings. Fall wildflowers are making their last gasp, but beautiful.

This is our 11th Autumn here, and I really can't tell or predict whether the 'color' is going to be better or, 'the same', or... Coming from decades spent in NY/NewEngland, I have never been awed by 'color' here as I suspect the more gradual change, combined with the less dramatic daily temp range we have here vs the northern latitudes, affects the cork cells, chlorophyll dissipation and innate color emergence differently than in the colder climes.

But, out walking up the Mtn every dawn is decent exercise and a treat, and Autumn is my Fave time of the year!
GL, mD

Last edited by motordavid; 10-03-2011 at 07:18 AM..
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Marshall, NC
442 posts, read 904,651 times
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Just got back from WNC this morning - yesterday we took a short ride on the BRP and really only the sumac is red! There were a few sugar maples in the distance that were starting to turn - should be perfect in two weeks! I always think of my forum friends when I am in your beautiful state - Asheville Native, gigmac, motordavid, the other lovesmountains, Queen of B, buttercup, shooting stars, quilter chick, (so many others, too) and I am grateful for all of our helpful advice over the FOUR years we have been planning our move!! I can count on clarity and insight on this Forum - Yay you!
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