Fall Color Wonderland

Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)October 18, 2012

Don't know how the current pelting rain in the Puget Lowland is going to affect the prospects for someone now getting up there and seeing it before it's over, but the Stevens Pass Highway corridor in Washington was breathtaking yesterday and today. If the mountain weather is any good the next several days (week?) anyone who might like to see it should give it a shot. Particularly on the east side, all the way to Leavenworth the maples, aspens and even the cottonwoods are dazzling.

With redtwig dogwood for contrast on many lower-lying sites.

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flowerpowereverett

We drove to Leavenworth yesterday and despite steady rains over Stevens Pass, the leaf color was outstanding on the Eastside. We also took Highway 207 and an alternate route home and found even more color, however, leaves may be dropping quickly, winds were kicking up. Seemed to be a shortage of elderberries and Red-osier berries this year?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Blue elder fruits were more prevalent earlier in the season. I'm not seeing that much redtwig dogwood fruit this year either.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 11:02PM
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gardengal48

I'm basing my impression only on what I'm seeing here on the west side of the Sound but I was thinking this year has produced some extraordinarily fine fall color. Everything seems a little more colorful and intense than it has the last few years. Maybe it was all that rain we started out with or a lot of summer sun but whatever the reason, I'm sure enjoying it! Katsuras in particular seem to be much more colorful than usual. Even the bigleaf maples, which IMO are pretty blah most falls, are looking very good.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Solid, unblemished bright yellow from bigleaf maples on the other side, quite a contrast from what we get from the "cornflake tree" here - especially now that many are infested with tar spot.

Good year for Norway maple, many showed a lot of hot orange.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 8:58PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I was over Snoqualmie Pass last weekend and the color was better than most years. Not as good as Hi-Way 2 though.

My Bigleaf Maples have Tar Spot. I never noticed it before, but it sure is noticeable now!
Mike

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:19AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

It's all those paving projects that have been going on.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:43PM
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plantknitter(8)

...snork!.....

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:25AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

It does look like tar has been dropped on the leaves.
Mike

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:47AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Just in time for Halloween. Especially that one on the right.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:32PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I just hope it's host specific. I sure don't want that fungus on my other Acers. THAT would be scary!
Mike,....in Maple Valley

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

"The disease is common on bigleaf maple on the Pacific Coast and also attacks many other species, particularly silver, mountain, and striped maple"

Here is a link that might be useful: Maple (Acer sp.)-Tar Spots : Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Handbook

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 3:23PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Thank you, Ron.
Much appreciated.
I'll be on the lookout for it next year. I won't be burning my leaves to try to eliminate it like the article says. The mulch mower gets rid of the leaves for me. It probably doesn't do anything to get rid of the Tar Spot fungus though.
Most of the Acer macrophyllum leaves I get are from neighboring properties, so I will just live with it. No problem there.
Mike

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Off the top of my head I can't think of any examples of other species I have seen with it here, but I think I may have seen a few. I certainly have not noticed it sweeping through other kinds like it is the bigleaf maple. I starting seeing it on bigleaf maple a few years ago and now there are hundreds, if not thousands of examples just where I go regularly.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Recently some improvement in coloring of some stands of westside bigleaf maples, as the show winds down. Sometimes pretty decent, although often the tree is already partly defoliated.

Not talking about ones with tar spot, of course.

The yellow and near-orange shades actually show up better against the green native conifers than the exotic species (red maple, Keith Warren hybrid maples etc.) marching through and along nearby commercial spaces would. These need blue conifers to set them off.

Likewise, there there is a reddish vine maple in front of a partly silvery Sitka spruce in the woods that can look good.

Black hawthorn and Oregon crabapple are usually orange etc. but tend not to blaze like the garden favorites that originate elsewhere. The crab can have an interesting mix of shades, cascara even more so. All three are wetland species, making these habitats the only places where there is predominantly reddish fall display in the wild in local lowlands - except where some vine maples are red or partly so.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 1:51PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

My Japanese Maples are really looking good now.
Mike

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Notice how the most eye-catching part, in terms of color is where the blue conifer contrasts with the red maple.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 2:21PM
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