Fall Foliage Reports
Fall has officially arrived, and soon we will be fascinated with the beautiful colors that the season brings. Keep a LIVE LOOK on the fall foliage from the Upstate with our Table Rock webcam, and check out our fall foliage reports posted each Wednesday.
Fall Foliage Report, Nov. 7, 2012
Our fall foliage season continues to fade away, going from a canopy to a carpet on the forest floor. Leaves are turning brown and turning loose from their summer security. The last fleeting display we will get this year will be mainly from different types of oaks that are the last to surrender to winter. Most tulip poplars are all but bare and hickories have lost their golden tones. There are some persistent dogwoods and sourwoods displaying their darker red leaves and a few maples stand out with some good orange or red. Some of the most colorful trees remaining are the smaller trees that produced larger leaves in effort to receive as much sunlight as possible below their taller neighbors. Soon all these trees will finally give up their autumn wardrobe and we’ll be back to only the evergreens and the tans of various oaks and beech leaves that will persist closer to spring.
Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 31, 2012
The peak for fall foliage was building fast and then a cold-front and the effects of Hurricane Sandy showed up. Some mountain areas had wind gusts over 50mph from last Sunday night into Monday. Looking at the slopes now reveals some higher points that are void of leaves while brighter reds and yellows are few and far between.
Colors are mostly muted with a mix of browns, russets, faded yellows, and a few darker reds. It appears our “peak” has been as good as it may get and is on the decline. Sprinkled in are still some hardwoods with green hanging on. After the most intense time of peak color, regardless of how good it may or may not have been, oaks that linger the longest provide a last foliage phase display made up of attractive tones of brown, tan, and deeper reds. It usually is not the complete landscape, but the lower elevations can be quite attractive until the leaves drop.
Even though we are blessed with a long leaf season in South Carolina, nature’s cycles don’t wait for anyone. When the best conditions reach their limit, change moves swiftly. Soon we find ourselves in winter. There are still leaves hanging on out there in the majority of the forests and sections of good viewing still exist. Until the leaves disappear, enjoy what remains as we go through the home stretch of autumn.
Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 24, 2012
The peak of fall color is at the doorstep in the upcountry. This coming weekend through the first weekend in November will be a great time to venture out to take in the foliage displays. Higher elevations are looking good as more canopy trees are joining the ranks of those with changing leaves. The hickories have been turning golden yellow and as the oaks follow the course, we’ll soon have the full array of autumn splendor.
Days have been mild and our first low temperatures in the 30’s are on tap for next week. That should assist the process of change as well. The last good rain has been over a week ago, so more precipitation would help clean things up and sharpen the views.
Some of the best routes to take for leaf looking north of SC Highway 11 would be SC highways 107 and 130 in Oconee County, US Highway 178 in Pickens County, and US highways 276 and 25 in Greenville County. Attractive destinations in these areas are Oconee State Park, Upper Whitewater Falls, Lake Jocassee, Sassafras Mountain, Table Rock State Park, Caesars Head State Park and any section of the Foothills Trail that snakes along the mountain terrain of these upstate counties. Take it all in while conditions are best during this grand season of the year.
Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 17, 2012
We are about to enter into the heart of the fall foliage season. Over the next two weeks, more dramatic changes should be noticed in the mountains. Ridgelines are giving us clues for what is coming as October advances onward. More leaves are falling and millions that have not fallen are becoming more colorful by the day it seems.
This type of atmosphere is the perfect setting to get out for a hike, drive, or picnic to enjoy the richness of autumn. There is something special about taking a walk on a sunny day, taking in the smell of the forest while leaves are fluttering down all around you. The stage is being set for the peak annual display we always anticipate during this glorious season.
Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 10, 2012
With the first week of October behind us, it is starting to look and feel much more like fall. Sharply cooler low temperatures and increasing color change are in order. Looking out across the landscape of upper elevations, some of the early color is still hidden below the existing canopy but driving various road corridors and viewing lakeshores along the Blue Ridge Escarpment will reveal additional reds and yellows, mainly from understory trees and saplings that are exposed.
Stands of evergreens are becoming more easily distinguished among the surrounding hardwoods as their summer green continues to fade. Soon higher ridge tops will begin to show an array of colors that will spread down the slopes into the lower hills.
Fall Foliage Report, Oct. 3, 2012
October is here again and that kicks off the weeks towards the peak of fall foliage viewing. The first two days of the month were very wet, with over 2.5 inches of rain. The showers tend to perk up the colors that are just beginning to change as any dust is washed away and a wet leaf gives off a purer color.
The emerald green leaves of summer are beginning to pale, with some trees showing more of a yellow tinge. Once the dogwoods and sourwoods are become red, you know the rest of the forest will follow suit over the next month.
The summer months in the mountains received more moisture than in recent years, so perhaps the peak will not be delayed and may arrive a bit earlier than normal. Much will depend on the overnight temperatures. As daylight lessens each week the perfect complement would be chilly nights with mild, sunny days. That combination would bring on the best color as red, orange, and yellow pigments trapped in the leaves are enhanced. As we await further changes to the trees, fall wildflowers are adding to the show along roadsides and fields. Goldenrods, various asters, ironweed, and other flowering plants are displaying a nice array of bright yellow, purple, and white.
We'd like to invite you to visit our State Parks Facebook Page and post your best photos of fall foliage across our parks.
Check out some of the best state parks to view fall color:
Read more about color change and autumn here.