How is the fall foliage where you are?

molie(z6 CT)October 8, 2011

Even though it means the winding down of my gardens, Fall is my favorite time of year. But this year seems so different. Maybe that's due to Irene and salt spray or to the very wet summer we had.

Here in S. CT many leaves are turning brown, crisping, and just falling. We still have a few weeks to go before Halloween but it's not looking good.


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I'm within walking distance of the MA state line and am seeing much the same conditions. My maples & dogwoods have dull, rusty orange leaves that started falling more than a week ago. The tulip tree is dropping dull gold, dark brown & black leaves. Oaks & catalpa are both still green.

I enjoy the cooler fall weather and also seeing the changes in my garden as it goes dormant for the year. I'm learning which plants cave in to the first chilly night and which ones go on like it was still high summer. While I'm grateful we didn't have a repeat of last summer's horrible drought, I think Mother Nature could have spared us a little of the 12 inches of rain (as measured by my rain gauges) that fell from Aug. 28 to October 4. I'd have gladly sacrificed half of that to the folks in Texas.

Sure hope Vermont is faring better than CT in the foliage department.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 7:37AM
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So far the red maples haven't been developing their usual stunning colors, but we'll see how things go. Here in central NH most of the trees are still relatively green and are just beginning to turn. Certainly the tourists are here in full flood hoping to see colorful foliage. I'm hoping that with less wind and rain for a few days that the leaves will have a chance to actually develop some color before falling.

At this time of year in particular I always think that I must be one of the luckiest people in the world. Even my 45 mile commute is a time for appreciating the beauty of where I live, and the color usually lasts for more than a month. (Just don't ask me what I think of my commute on a winter evening when it has started snowing during the day while I'm at work.) I too love the crisp fall temperatures and the quieter pace of gardening, though I wish it would stay light a bit longer.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 8:01AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Not much color so far this year around here (metro west Boston). A little showing up in wetlands and low-lying areas.

My Sugar maple is getting a touch of yellow around the edges, but it also has brown crunchy leaves and a zillion samaras (Sugar maples produce seeds in boom years every 2-5 years and apparently this is one of them for this tree).

Lots of maples and other trees seem to have those crunchy brown leaves. It doesn't look promising for a good foliage year.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 8:05AM
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It is too early for peak color here in the north-of-Boston suburbs. Peak used to be around true Columbus Day--Oct. 12--but in the last ten warmer years is about a week later. And this year, we have had such an unending summer here, it may be even later.

There was a gloom-and-doom article about no fall color in the paper this morning. Way too early to worry about that, imho.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 1:07PM
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ctlady_gw(z6 CT)

Pretty much a bust so far in southern Litchfield County, CT... our maples are completely down, never had any color, just turned brown and fell. I am holding out for the later trees -- the oaks and beeches and such, hoping for at least a show of yellow and orange. But the brilliant reds of the huge old maples -- gone (many of them are, too, of course, courtesy of weeks and weeks of rain and Irene's wind). I, too, had heard that even up here in north-central CT, the rain had so much salt in in during Irene, and that maples simply can't tolerate salt... is that true? I'd never heard it before this year but it certainly could explain what we're seeing from the maples. I will be curious to see how my Japanese maple -- usually a torch of color each fall -- does this year.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 1:28PM
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Dud, dud, dud.

I'm near nhbabs. No color, some leaves falling, but still plenty on the trees if they decide to turn. We had cold nights this week, a good thing, but today is in the 80's, not a good thing. Don't leaves need cold to turn well?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 5:23PM
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cloud_9(z5 CT)

I was kayaking on the Housatonic this morning. Bright blue sky. A few nights this week were down in the 30s that should have set some color. There should have been a spectacular show of peak foliage reflected in the water... nothing. Green, green, green - or brown or bare. There was one little branch that was red down close to the water. I don't know why it was the only bit. Sad, really really sad. I remember in years past when the color seemed muted and pastel, but never just nothing.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 9:46PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It's just too early here. I see some red and yellow out my window, but mostly still green.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:24AM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

This close to the coast, we never get brilliant colors on trees. And Hurricane Irene did a job on the leaves, salting, browning and crumpling them until they fell off 'way early, a pseudo-autumn.

The most brilliance is due to the Monarch butterflies clustering, fluttering and feeding on my buddleia blooms.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 1:27PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Here in Central MA my Sugar Maple is just turning bright orange and yellow. A few more days and it will be in its full glory. The Oaks are still full green. The color is late this year. Probably due to the warm weather.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 6:47PM
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Starting to develop fall color here now. The red maples are turning and getting more red tones (before they were just yellow.) Should be a gorgeous week in central NH.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 8:10AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I've noticed that fall color is much later now than it was when I was a child. It used to be that Columbus day meant fall colors at peak, faint smell of burning leaves and picking the last few grapes that could be seen after the frost curled the leaves. Now it seems that it has to be early November to get the peak color. Earth seems to be in a warming up period as it has done many, many times in it's 4.5 billion year history. So even if every year can't be a postcard year for foliage, at least we can enjoy some extended warm weather and save on the heating bills.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 9:16AM
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terrene(5b MA)

There is some beautiful color starting around the nearby pond, but also a few trees with brown crunchy leaves. The huge horrible Norway maple in my back yard got hit hard with the brown crunchy leaves condition, and they're dropping constantly.

What is causing that? Do you think it could be tip die back from the Winter moths? Or do you think Irene could have brought salt spray all the way up here?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 11:46AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I've read that at least in the NH area the trees have been hit with anthracnose from the wet spring. The trees are not looking well in my area and it may prove to be one of those "off" years for foliage.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 8:27PM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

geez...we are heading up towards Quechee and Woodstock, VT on friday and I guess we won't be seeing much!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 4:54AM
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franeli(z4 NH)

We're starting to see some beautiful fall color on the sugar and red maples.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 7:10AM
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squirejohn zone4 VT

You should see good color in the Woodstock area. I took the photo this AM in central VT and the colors are quite a bit more vivid than shown in the photo.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 9:30AM
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Wow! What a view! How do you get any work done? I'd be sitting in front of that window all day long, just gazing. Thanks for posting the photo.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:12AM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

Thanks squirejohn! Now you have me all excited! Looks like we are going to have a great trip! You are very lucky to have that view!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 11:24AM
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molie(z6 CT)

Great photo, squirejohn, that's what we expect to see here in New England!

Where I am it's still just yellows, greens and browns, no reds, but maybe that will change with the colder weather?


    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 6:07PM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

This is by far the worst year for foliage that I've seen in the 16 years that I've lived in New England. The trees along Rte 3 on the South Shore just sort of lost their leaves without ever really putting on a display. The trees around my house including the ones that I've planted are turning a muted yellow brown color with the exceptions being two Ginkgos and an Autumn Blaze maple. The woods behind my house are full of tupelos that normally turn bright scarlet, orange, and yellow but this year there's nothing from them. Even my Crape Myrtles which normally put on a breathtaking brilliant orange display are turning a muted purple color. I'm not sure what's going on.

Great photo Squire!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 9:02PM
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rockman50(6b SEMASS)

I second what Tree Oracle said. I have never seen such a horrible display of color here on the south coast. We basically have had no color at all down here. And my Crape Myrtle, as tree Oracle said, is normally the most colorful plant of all in my garden in the fall. But this year it never turned color. It was vibrant green up until last week when we had our first frost. Since then the leaves have just been shriveling up and slowly falling off. What is normally a beautiful fall plant is rather ugly at the moment.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:30AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Same here on the SE coast just north of the Canal. Fall foliage color is never spectacular here, but it's much drabber than usual. I took a walk around the neighborhood this morning and the poison ivy had the most color.

I expect a lot of it is due to the dry salt-laden winds of Irene. Or maybe the odd fluctuation between unseasonable cold and then unseasonable warmth affected the underlying pigments in the leaves. A puzzlement. A depressing puzzlement.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:22AM
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I have to agree--mostly. My high hopes posted above in early October were dashed. This is one of only two poor autumn shows I remember in 34 years here. Actually, the yellows and golds have been great but the reds few and far between.

I'm nowhere near the seacoast so it's not salt spray. I have no guess as to the cause.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 8:06PM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

I'm thinking that the problem this year was the warmer temperatures in the fall. The trees that turn late don't seem to be having the problem that the other trees were having. In fact, this was a banner year for oaks. This past week (and today), I've seen some brilliant scarlet and orange colors on many oaks and some nice yellows on the birches. My Japanese maples which also turn late put on a great show, too. The Bradford Pears, ornamental cherries, and the Kousa dogwoods around my town are also putting on a good show.

For those of you who think fall foliage is unique to New England, there are two threads on the Trees forum that show how brilliant the colors can be in the South, too. I lived in the Wisconsin for several years and the color in that part of the country (especially the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) also rivals anything you see here.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 6:07PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Oddly, now in mid-November, our city zone 6 area (Cambridge) is finally blazing. Out front in my raised driveway-side bed, the magnolia and the 2 apricot trees are brilliant yellow. And a block or 2 away I see glowing orange and red trees.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 1:01PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Yes, tree oracle, I agree about the oaks. I grew up in the city but on a street lined with maples. I was sorely disappointed when I moved to "the sticks" but discovered that I had all oaks, which don't come close to the brillant fall display of the maples. In the fifteen years I've been here, there have only been two great years of color on the oaks - and this is the third. Sadly, between the hurricane, the snowstorm, and then the windy days we've had lately, the show didn't last too long.

I thought this season would be a dud, but there really has been some great late-season color. Much later than usual, and, despite the above-mentioned leaf loss, in general seeming to last longer into the year. I think of mid-November as rather drab and dreary, and it's been a beautiful, colorful month so far!

By the way, the burning bushes have been absolutely phenomenal this year! What a two-edged sword - so gorgeous, yet so invasive...


    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 6:46PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I forgot to say, that view is awesome, SquireJohn! WOW! I wish I had something like that to look at out of my window.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 8:06PM
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I also have had stunning late fall colors which have lasted a long time and are only now starting to disappear. The oaks were lovely shades of gold, russet and red, the beeches their typical bright gold moving into copper, and even some of the drier red maples turned late and were still colorful when the oaks were colorful, something I've never seen in my 30+ years here. The later small trees and shrubs like my Kousa dogwoods (after they recovered from being doubled over by the snow), Fothergilla, several native viburnums, and blueberries are all looking quite bright even now.

I've really been enjoying the long warm fall this year!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:02AM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

This is by far the latest in the year that I've ever seen the foliage turning in this area. There are quite a few Bradford pears that still have their fall foliage. I saw one today that was just now at its peak. Several birches and Norway maples still have their fall foliage, too. The Paperbark maple in my yard is always the last tree on my property to turn and it just lost its foliage this past week. My evergreens that normally turn a different color for the winter still look exactly the same as they did in the summer. A lot of my flower bulbs are coming up. If this warmth continues, there may be some December daffodils this year.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 7:24PM
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The weather has been so strange this year! Luckily we still had great Massachusetts Fall Foliage in the fall. Lately we've been having some days that feel like spring here in Boston.

Here is a link that might be useful: Massachusetts Fall Folliage

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 6:50AM
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