With the first day of fall quickly approaching, many area residents may be wondering when they’ll see one of the best parts of the season — fall foliage.
Starting next week, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will be putting out weekly fall foliage reports, so area residents can visit the best places in the state and county to find nature’s color display.
Mark Potter, district forester with DCNR, Rothrock State Forest, talked about which trees are starting to turn and what trees will turn later on in October.
“Typically, early on you’re going to see color change in sassafras, black walnut and blueberry species,” he said. “We’ve been seeing black walnut trees yellow for about a month or so. These are the early species. Then, you’ll start seeing it in the red maples and, lastly, you’ll see changes in the oak species.”
Vibrant colors typically start changing in the northern parts of the county before moving south.
“Typically, in the northern part of the district, you’ll see that color change first, as the color change is occurring from north to south,” said Potter. “The northern part of the state will be further ahead than in the southern part of the state.”
In the county, Potter said on average, the fall foliage is at its peak in the county in the third week of October.
As far as what kind of fall foliage the county should expect, it should be a vibrant one, unless the trees were infected with any fungal issues, like anthracnose.
Potter said it’s not the current weather that necessarily impacts the vibrancy of fall foliage, but the weather the area received in the spring.
“We had pretty good precipitation, which kind of stems back to the heavier rain in the spring,” adding that wet weather may have contributed to the anthracnose that caused early leaf drop in sycamore and red maple trees in the county.
“It’s been a pretty good year overall,” said Potter. “The foliage on most of the tree species is pretty full.”
However, current weather may have an impact, especially if there are storms with wind events that may knock leaves on the trees.
If anyone is interested in learning where the best parts of the state and county are to see fall foliage and when, visit DCNR’s fall foliage page at www.dcnr.pa.gov/Conservation/ForestsAndTrees/FallFoliageReports/Pages/default.aspx.