Leaves Still On Trees After Wet/Windy Weather, ‘Very Good’ Leaf Season Expected

Published Monday, October 5, 2015 at 3:49 pm
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Taken from the top, middle and bottom of “Seven Devils Highway,” these photos show the current leaf color in the Seven Devils, Foscoe and Grandfather areas. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

As ASU Biology Professor Howard Neufeld, aka the Fall Color Guy, noted in his latest fall color report on Oct. 4, the High Country is fortunate that the rainy and windy weather of the past two weeks occurred when most of the trees in the High Country still had green leaves.

Because if this weather would have occurred in a week or two, then the leaf lookers would be staring at trees without leaves. Neufeld called this the “saving grace” of the weather and its timing.

“Thus, even though there is a lot of debris on the ground from the rains and winds, many of the trees, especially those at mid-elevations (2,500’ to 4,000’, i.e., Boone/Blowing Rock area) still have their leaves. And because the weather will improve starting tomorrow, getting sunnier and warmer, I predict that those trees will quickly begin turning color,” Neufeld wrote.

Still, Neufeld said he was “amazed” at how many leaves made their way to the ground. He mentioned that in some places 20 to 40 percent of the leaves, mostly tulip poplars and yellow birches, were knocked down. He also mentioned that 50 to 70 percent of hillsides that he observed in the Boone and Blowing Rock area were more “colored up” than he expected.

“To me this means that as the weather improves and gets sunnier and drier, colors will rapidly approach their peak for the High Country, perhaps by the end of this coming week and into that trailing weekend (Oct. 8–10), with good color still persisting into that following week (Oct. 11-15),” Neufeld.

“I’m not seeing a lot of reds (which is what happens when it gets cloudy/rainy), so I’m inclined to knock down my prediction from being an exceptional year to just a very good year.”

Read the entire report on Neufeld’s “Fall Color Guy” Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FallColorGuy/posts/888641007850589

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