Archive for the ‘Fall Leaf Color Updates’ Category

This week the color change rate has really picked up! While overall, canopies are still holding a lot of green in many places, roadside color and the understory trees are getting into the season. Peak is still a week to week and a half away, but with a nice weekend forecast, you can’t go wrong heading to north GA.

Northeast Georgia:

Color can be found at virtually every elevation this week though you will still see a lot of green in places.  The uppermost elevations (3500 feet and above) are at peak or past. The yellows are dominating the canopies right now, but the roadsides provide plenty of the reds and burgundies.

  • Species providing the red and burgundy hues this week continue to be the sourwoods, dogwoods, sumac, and black gum.
  • Birches, cherries, redbuds some maples and the yellow poplar are showing yellows and golds
  • Hickories have now joined the festivities with vibrant golds and yellows
  • The black walnut has also jumped in with lemony yellows.
  • Sweet gums continue to provide both yellows and purple reds
  • and the dependable maples continue to show yellows, reds, and oranges, and with many still in the initial stages of change they should continue to provide color for several weeks.
  • The sassafras has also joined in this week with yellows, reds, and orange.

Northwest Georgia:

Leaf change continues across northwest GA at most elevations with the upper elevations (2000 feet) showing the most consistent color. As in northeast GA you’ll find roadside color with the sourwoods and dogwoods but the dominant color in the canopies now is shades of yellow.

* The species continuing in the reds are the dogwoods, sourwoods, black gums, and sumacs

* with the yellow poplars, red buds, and black cherries showing yellows

* and the sweet gums providing both yellow and purplish reds.

* The hickories are beginning to display the golden yellows they’re known for.

Overall peak is still on schedule for the last weekend in October to the first week in November.

Elevations above 3500 feet are now at or just-past peak. Lower elevations are at 20-60% canopy change.

The continuing drought will have some impact but you can see excellent roadside color now throughout the region.

 Suggested scenic routes this weekend:

Travel GA 197 out of Clarkesville towards Lake Burton. At US 76 go either  west over Dicks Creek Gap to Hiawassee, or east to Clayton.

Take GA 52 out of Ellijay to the Fort Mountain State Park area.

Read Full Post »

Cooler temperatures have boosted fall foliage quite a bit over the past week…

The drought continues to have some effects and we’re seeing early leaf turn and brown-up across the region, especially in the northwest.

Also, as these serious drought conditions persist, fires have broken out…and the Georgia Forestry Commission continues to remind you to be very careful whenever fire is used outdoors. Get a burn permit when burning leaves, brush or conducting acreage burns and go to the GFC website for all the information…GaTrees.org.

Northeast Georgia:

The highest elevations are best for color. At 3500 feet elevation and higher, we’re at or nearing peak. The highest ridges of the state include Brasstown Bald, which can be viewed at various observation points throughout the area on the Richard Russell Scenic Highway or on Brasstown Bald. Color change at these extreme elevations is between 75% and 90%. Below 3500 we are seeing individual trees and pockets of trees with color change running from less than 10% at the lowest elevations up to 50% at 2500 feet.  Remember that slope direction, latitude and species composition affect the timing so the estimates at elevation do vary.

You’ll see red and burgundy hues courtesy of sourwoods and dogwoods and also black gum, and sumac. Yellow poplar and birch are providing yellow and golds. Sweet gums are showing yellow and purple-reds and the maples are bringing in yellow, red and orange.

Northwest Georgia:

Leaf change across many areas of northwest Georgia including lower elevations is more widespread than what we are seeing in the northeast. However, the best bets in this area continue to be the upper elevations. Across the region many of the reds and yellows are leaning toward the earthy, muted tones but there are bright pockets to be found. Elevations nearing 2000 feet will likely find the best color this week but winding roads in the valleys will have treasures to be found. Percent color change in the area varies widely with estimates of 20% to 40%. We are still a couple of weeks away from peak in the northwest.

Dogwoods, sourwoods, black gums, and sumacs are showing some vibrant red, with yellow poplars, red buds, and black cherries showing yellows, while sweet gums are turning yellow and purplish-red.

Suggested scenic drives this weekend:

  • US 19/129 north out of Cleveland over Neels Gap to GA 180 on the left, just past Vogel State Park. Turn on GA 180 and travel up to Suches. Or, continue on US 19/129 to GA 180 on the right, and travel to GA 180 Spur to Brasstown Bald.
  • Out of Jasper take GA 5 north to GA 136 near Talking Rock. Travel west towards Carters Lake and then GA 411 north to Chatsworth. OR, take GA 2/52 west out of Ellijay and travel towards Fort Mountain State Park and Chatsworth.

Read Full Post »

North Georgia is experiencing a significant drought and that will have an impact on this year’s fall leaf season. Driving through the mountains you’ll notice some patches of brown, but color is beginning to show.

Northeast Georgia:

Cooler nights over the last week have helped jump start the fall color change. Dogwoods and sourwoods are showing various shades of red and burgundy, and the maples are turning to reds, burgundies and varying shades of yellow. We are also seeing some change in the birches with scattered lemon yellows. Yellow poplar is also showing shades of yellow, though we’re seeing many of these trees beginning to drop leaves.

Fall color normally starts at the higher elevations and progresses to lower elevations as we move through the season, so your best opportunity to see some of this early change is to travel Georgia’s highest elevation roads. Check out the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway (GA 348) or the approach roads to Georgia’s highest point, Brasstown Bald (GA Highway 180 Spur).

Northwest Georgia:

The current drought has had a tighter grip on the northwest portion of the state, where we’re seeing some early leaf drop and some early change. Yellow poplars are starting to turn and drop leaves. Dogwoods and sourwoods are starting to show reds and burgundies.

The highest elevations of the region are the best places to catch a glimpse of the earliest changes in foliage, so the Cloudland Canyon and Lookout Mountain areas will be good bets for color.

Reminder! Because of the drought, fire danger is high! Be very careful if you’re having a campfire or cooking outdoors – and if  you do any outdoor  burning, be sure to get a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission.


Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Opportunities for viewing colorful fall foliage are dwindling, but there are still a few spots of color around north Georgia. While there isn’t a “go to” area to recommend visiting, the yellow-gold of hickories and the deep red-browns of the red oaks are still out there and looking good.

It should be noted that with leaves coming down, many roadside vistas that are obscured during the growing season are now clear. That makes it easier to see creeks, waterfalls and rock outcroppings on the mountain slopes, and those are beautiful sights to enjoy!

Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Across North GA: 

Even the hardiest of the annual leaf peepers have to be feeling challenged this year due to the weather. While the leaf show is not over, it has started to wind down and continues to show the effects of wind and rain. At upper elevations many of the canopy trees have dropped their leaves, leaving understory and mid-story trees to carry the show. Overall, peak leaf viewing time has come and gone, but there are still gems to be found. Hickories can still be seen sporting some awesome golds, and maples continue to peak with their red/yellow/orange progression on different sites at different times, including this weekend. And you can still find dogwoods with vibrant reds; beeches transitioning from green to yellow to bronze; and the sweetgums with colors ranging from yellow to orange to red and purple! Most oaks have now also joined in, and we’ll continue to see them changing for the next couple of weeks with colors from vibrant red to golden yellows.

We frequently get a resurgence of color around the second week/weekend in November, as some of the late turners peak with an encore round generally composed of more earthy gold and orange tones, as opposed to the vibrant neons seen earlier.

Across the region, color change is about 80%.  This does mean that there are still trees beginning the transition, and some that have not started, so expect color to be common in many areas throughout the next 10 to 14 days.

Continued rain and wind have increased the rates at which our trees are losing leaves. With more rain this week and possible thunderstorms Friday we can expect more of the same.

For a scenic drive this weekend, the best color will be found in the lower mountains and upper piedmont.

In northeast GA, travel up to the Clarkesville/Cornelia area. You can drive

GA 197 north out of Clarkesville up towards Batesville, or take old US 123 from Cornelia towards Toccoa and Currahee Mountain.

In north central GA, head out of Calhoun on GA 53 and then turn north up towards Carters Lake on US 411. You can then head east on GA 136 over to Talking Rock and on to Jasper.

If you’re in or headed to northwest GA, go from Summerville on US 27 to Trion, and then up GA 151 to Ringgold.

Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week’s rain and wind left over from Hurricane Patricia have brought a lot of leaves to the ground across all of north Georgia. The effect of thinning the roadside canopy has been to open the view into the understory, where there is plenty to be seen.

The north Georgia fall foliage show is now in full swing! Hickories have emerged in the last seven days with brilliant golden yellows. Maples‘ multi-colored displays of bright reds, yellows and orange have intensified this week — and so have the sourwoods with their deep reds and burgundy.  The overstory yellow poplars are about finished for the season, though young understory poplars are just now producing some glowing yellow greens. Adding to the yellow spectrum in greater numbers this week are the birches and the beeches, while the blackgum and sweetgum continue to have impact with deep red and purples.  Sumacs are coming in with bright reds…and sassafras is showing off with yellow, reds and orange. And not to be left out, the mighty oaks are starting to make their transitions with color ranging – from the chestnut oaks’ golden yellows to the northern red and scarlet oaks’ deep reds.

Above 3000’ elevation is at or past peak (90% from green). 2000’-3000’ is peaking this week and weekend (80% from green). Below 2000’ much color is developing daily, and many areas will be peaking over the next 10 days (40% – 80%).

This weekend as well as next weekend will likely represent the peak for leaf viewing around the area, though we usually get a second wave starting about the second week in November when some of the late turners, especially oaks kick in.

Just about any drive in north Georgia over the next couple of weeks should provide the leaf- peeper ample opportunities for scenic views. 

In northeast GA try traveling up US 441 to Clayton and then turning west on US 76 to Hiawassee. An option here is to take GA 197 off of US 76 and travel around Lake Burton.

In north central GA head out of Ellijay on GA 52 towards Chatsworth and the Fort Mountain area.

In northwest GA head out of Lafayette on GA 136 and cruise over to the Cloudland Canyon/Lookout Mountain area for some higher elevation leaf peeping.


Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Northeast and North Central GA:

Georgia Forestry Commission foresters report things have definitely moved into a higher gear this week, and again, altitude and latitude are key to enjoying the color. The highest elevations are approaching peak, though there is still green in the canopies. The deep reds of sourwood, dogwood, and maple make up most of the crimsons, and birch and hickories are showing their yellows and golds. The early turning poplar is still holding some yellows, though many leaves have been shed, leaving lacy openness in the canopies. Black gums are showing deep reds this week and redbuds are getting in on the act with their mellow yellows. On the highest ridges and in the highest gaps look for peak conditions to be from this weekend into next week. Below 3000’ elevation, things are also picking up a bit of speed, but slow and easy is the rule for the weekend. Peak at these locations is still expected the last week of October.

Northwest GA:

Poplars continue to provide yellows in the canopy and are dropping their leaves. Sourwood, dogwood, maple, and some individual sweetgum and blackgum leaves have turned to red and purple. Trees that enjoy open growing conditions show brighter colors at this time. The ridges that provide the best viewing options in Northwest Georgia are still a couple of weeks away from prime viewing (as shown in the attached pictures.)

Georgia Forestry Commission foresters estimate the percentage of color change from green to date is about 80% above 3000′ and 5-30% below 3000′.

Scenic drive suggestions this weekend:

In northeast/north central GA, travel on any of the high roads and passes through gaps will provide the best opportunities. Drive from Dahlonega up GA 60 to Suches and then to Moganton; or at Suches turn onto GA 180 and travel back over to US 129.

In northwest GA, James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park located off highway 27 near Taylor’s Ridge will provide good viewing opportunities. Many of the trees surrounding the park’s lake have changed color and provide a beautiful sight.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »