Now! before you start to panic, this is in response to the many messages I’ve been getting.
Early Fall Colors in New England have arrived!
Many people seem to be worrying about their reservations and carefully made plans. As you can see below, I’m not saying early fall colors can’t happen. (The first pic is from last month, August 17, 2017) I’m saying we Always have some early fall colors! Check dates on all pictures. Some are from this past week and the rest are from previous years.
3 September, Fall Foliage Report
Let me start by saying I have a birch tree in the woods across from my deck and my wife remarked tonight that “it’s really golden right now!” I was cooking on the deck tonight (in the rain) and I had noticed the same thing.
This comes up every year and earlier this week, I saw a foliage map from the Smokey Mountain tourism folks and it got my attention because they had the Smokey Mountain National Park on there so I immediately thought this was official. (I’m a National Park Ranger so, to me, it gave it a sense of authority).
But it’s pure tourism to get you there early. I will not give you the link because it said that early peak color in the NEK (North East Kingdom) of Vermont would be 10 September (next Sunday) and past peak and fading by the 20th of Sept. These 3 pictures are from the past few days.
Links to these photographer websites at bottom of page.
My Expert Opinion on Fall Foliage in New England
All I can say is Hogwash! or at least I hope it is. As I told the leaf peeper below, I may be wrong and they, the website predicting early “peak” color, could be right. (But I doubt it)
I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years and I even asked photographers that I know in northern New England. They have all said the same thing, There are some swamp maples turning and some stressed trees but no wide-spread turning. So these sites are correct, the trees are turning. Just a branch here and a single tree there, just like every other year.
A good fall foliage map
I started using the Yankee Magazine peak foliage map back in 2003 and while not perfect, I think it’s pretty close. (Note they show the NW corner showing color before the NEK in Vermont, I don’t agree with that) But when you look at their dates and how much is colored in, I think they are at most, a week off.
All these maps are at best a guide!
None of them are actually or accurately predicting the peak, they are guessing or maybe using historical data. Remember what ETrade and Charles Schwab and all the rest say. “Past performance does not guarantee future returns”. Well, the fall colors are the same.
Worried Leaf Peeper
From a leaf Peeper: I’ve noticed a couple of fall foliage map predictions have near peak and peak leaves being closer to September 20th. What are your thoughts, is this possible?
My Response: Anything is possible but it’s highly unlikely. A lot really depends on the weather between now and then and I still think it won’t happen… Could be wrong, it has happened before.
From a leaf Peeper: Do you think there will be partial colors? So those maps aren’t accurate?
Hi leaf peeper, The maps that you see are guesses or if you are lucky they are based on historical data. But every year is different. I can’t say that they won’t happen. But based on almost 20 years of watching the fall colors, I don’t think they are very accurate. It really depends on which one you refer to. I saw one for the Smokey mountains saying peak up here will be 10-14 Sept in the North East Kingdom of Vermont.
I showed this to my wife who grew up in The North Western corner of Vermont and she was flabbergasted. In 45 years she has never seen “peak” fall colors in Vermont before the end of September. So, could she and I be wrong? Sure it happens once in a while but will the northern Portions of Vermont and New Hampshire be past peak before September is over. But I doubt it.
Are the fall foliage colors going to be a bit earlier for some trees? Yes. I have a tree outside my house that is a birch variant and it’s very golden now. BUT! almost all of the rest of the trees are still green leading up this hill. This is the same for much of New England. When we get cool temps in August and as far as we can tell Sept “May” follow suit, so I suspect we will see more concerned calls about trees turning early.Jeff "Foliage" Folger You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
- My Gallery on Fine Art America
- Try out the new Fall foliage forum
- Join my New England Fall Foliage page on Facebook
- Follow @Foliage_Reports on Twitter
- Follow me on Instagram @Jeff_Foliage
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as: http://www.4cornersnewengland.com/
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff Foliage.com.
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.