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Fall Colors ‘Not as Vibrant or Intense as in Past Years’ But Still Quite a Sight For Leaf-lookers in the Area


Oct. 19, 2012. Some of our readers have been telling us they just don’t feel like the fall colors are quite as impressive this year. Do you feel like the leaf season hasn’t been quite as awe-inspiring as in past years? Well, you’re not alone. Although the fall colors are still pretty (as evidenced in the photo above, for example), even Dr. Howard Neufeld, professor of plant physiology at Appalachian State University and fall color expert for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, observed some lack of vibrance this season.

“To be truthful (and I report the colors as I see them) the fall foliage display this year is not as vibrant or intense as in past years. The reds, while apparent in patches here and there, are duller than usual, resulting in a yellow/orange cast to this year’s display. Some trees turned early this year and two storms knocked leaves off just as they were reaching their most intense color (mainly birches and maples). Also, oaks, which are traditionally late turners, seem even more behind this year, which is why many locations still have colors mixed with green. That being said, I still think it’s worth the drive up to the mountains to see the colors – this is still nature’s best color display, even if it’s not a 10 this year!”

-Dr. Howard Neufeld

To see Dr. Neufeld’s report, visit biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors. Also, feel free to send us your observations and photos of the fall colors in the High Country at info@highcountrypress.com. To see more photos, click here…
Photo by Andrew Pennestri

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