New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » 2013 was the year of RED fall foliage
gold maples with red and orange colors line this Vermont roadside on a late afternoon walk in the Vermont countryside.

A look back at the 2013 foliage in New England

2013 was the year of Red leaves

A November waterfall photograph taken in New Eampshire Well I’ve turned on my fall foliage music ( first comes Autumn Leaves by Rudy Van Gelder and then fall in New England by Cheryl Wheeler). So with most all the leaves down and gone I can still get in the foliage mood.

I was out shooting with fellow Guild member Jim Block and we were exploring around his home area near Enfield NH. And we both enjoyed the brown and golds of the marsh areas as well as the streams lined with rim ice and leaves of brown floating down stream.

We walked up and down both sides of this stream watching the play of the water as it cascaded over the rocks. It shows that in in November you can find beauty and fall colors (brown is a color) if you are willing to get out of the car.

The 2013 foliage season in review

What I learned this year is that the temperatures are even more important than I thought! This year we started out with a “normal” warm up but we started get rain and a lot of it! 20 plus inches later I was hoping that if we dried out long before August we might hold off the Anthracnose fungus from developing. (more on this down below)

The year in red

One of the bright points in the 2013 fall foliage season was what I call the year of the red leaves. Everywhere I looked in mid Sept to Oct was sugar and red maples glowing in the afternoon sunshine.  You see we had in abundance, sunshine from July through Sept and this caused the maples to create the red pigments that we so love to see in Oct.

Rains arrive then damn hot!

The rains quit in June and I started to breathe easier and had hopes that while we had a ton of rain, we were also having a long dry spell to counteract the rains. As it was we had several months of dry and in fact we didn’t have any real significant rain through 8 October. Also the temps in June and early July were nearing 95 on a daily basis and this to passed just after the 4th of July and the rest of the summer was more moderate.

I thought we were setting up for a tremendous autumn because the trees were healthy from all the rain and then they dried out but we weren’t in a major drought like 2012 so we should see great colors.

Then it happened, Anthracnose started to appear in my neighborhood and along the coastal areas I was getting at first a few whispers about early leaf drop and brown edges and I was getting worried.

The result: delays and fungus and yes glorious colors

Fall foliage view from Hazen's Notch

View from Hazens Notch Vermont 2013

23 Sept 2012 early fall foliage colors on Hazens Notch

Hazens notch in Vermont 23 Sept 2012

Here are two shots 1 year apart and in my eyes we were very close at 23 Sept but by a few weeks later it was evident that things were slowing down by 1 Oct 2013.

Overall, we did see some damage from Anthracnose in limited spots across New England.  Peak color was showing up in spots across northern New England near the end of September and on 1 Oct it was very pretty.

The folks at the NOAA climate prediction were correct though and we stayed warmer than I wanted between 25 Sept till 1 Nov. The result was the season slowed down in its development. We were rushing into the fall color during early to mid Sept but by the end of Sept we hit warmer temps. Instead of the color developing quickly in a day or two it was taking a week or more to produce trees full of color.

Rain and wind!

7 Oct 2013 – Up till this day people were reporting on my Facebook page and through emails that they were finding great color everywhere. But! This day was what I feared would happen. Rains and high winds tore through New England taking almost all the peak fall foliage leaves to the ground. The only good point to make was that because the season had slowed down we had a ton of green leaves still on the trees.

The downside was that this was the week before the Columbus Day Weekend and we didn’t have time to really put new color on the trees so people were scrambling through the northern half of Vermont over to Maine to find the color they thought would be here.

In past years we could find good if not great color from central Massachusetts through southern New England and if lucky, all the way north to the Whites/Greens and central Maine.

The upside to slow turning leaves!

bright red leaves blending to orange and gold in one tree.

brilliant autumn colors on a Marblehead street This image can be viewed here

Yes there is an upside… For those still around in late Oct through early November. The temps took the nose dive they were supposed to back in early October. So in late Oct the colors started coming on full speed. By the first week in November I had people posting colorful shots on my Facebook page from the Litchfield hills in Connecticut to here in Salem and points south.

Next week’s article

I will talk about your next vacation for fall foliage and should you plan on later dates.

Seen on my fall foliage Facebook page

Kyle is focusing on the watery color here with some submerged reds..

Posted by New England Fall Foliage on Monday, November 18, 2013

Jeff “Foliage” Folger

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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
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