So, you are still looking for fall colors? REALLY?
Well after the last blow on Monday bringing rain and also winds that gusted to 75-90 MPH, any colorful leaves probably came down. So what does that leave us with?
Maybe not a lot but I saw a tree on Essex that was still turning red and all the Gingko’s at the Visitor Center are still mostly green but in a nother week or two we should see their bright golds coming forth.
Halloween is over, now what?
Did you go out and Trick or treat? I ended another season at Salem’s National Park so I got to walk out Essex street as I headed for the car and home. A large amount of people were visiting this season and it was a lot of fun!
There is still some fall color to be found but is it worth while? Some one told me “to give up, It’s all dead!” Well if you read my six steps of fall foliage, you should know that I’m at step six. Extreme denial, click here to read about it.
How accurate was I this year?
Well I think I called it pretty good.
I said back in January if the spring was too rainy we could develop Tar spot and Anthracnose (a fungus that makes the edges of maples curl up and fall off prematurely.
The danger points will be April to May. If we don’t have too many rain periods during this time, we won’t develop tar spot on the maple leaves which happens if we have too many continuous wet days. I’d rather have a warmer summer but balanced temps from May to August it will have a positive effect on the leaves.
I would say if I was a betting man, that this will be a very good year for New England fall foliage. It may arrive a little slower but it should also be a little brighter as well… Barring any big storms or September rains every day, again knock on wood!
I sounded pretty optimistic in April and you would think Yankee Magazine was quoting me a couple of months later…
In June I asked if we had too much rain? Only one other negative Nellie besides me had any doubts about the health of the forests in New England. I said this:
When it comes to New England fall foliage, my big worry is about too much rain. You see the maples especially those that will produce the bright reds that make us catch our breath are susceptible to tar spot. Tar spot causes the leaves to start turning brown in August to early September. It also primarily affects the maples in my experience. In talking to the forest rangers, they say it’s always there to some degree, but certain years it has covered very large areas.
What kind of fall colors are we going to have?
Well, it all depends… 🙂 I’ve put out calls to photographer friends around New England and only one has any doubts like me. Also…
The trees at this moment appear to be happy and the woodlands are really enjoying all the rain. If we get balanced rain the rest of the summer then I think when the leaves do turn they will stay on longer due to all the rain making them healthy But I’m thinking we may have a slow burn autumn. This would be due to above average temps going into Oct. It doesn’t mean they won’t turn, just that they may turn a little later. Which is great for those who arrive in mid-October and want to travel the Kancamagus highway..
So by June I was starting to worry about the “real” health of the New England fall foliage. All through July I was looking for my photographer friends who live in different locations of New England to give me a heads up on early signs of color or the dreaded Anthracnose fungus.
For the most part in all areas of New England we get some degree of the fungus so even if I did hear about it, how can I be sure this is a problem or just “business as usual” for this year. So you can see my dilemma. I can start saying “the sky is falling, the sky is falling, but what if it is just, business as usual?
So, now July arrives and still no one has made reports of massive outbreaks of fungus but in CT and RI, I’m hearing about Gypsy Moth and out in the western parts of Massachusetts in to the Quabbin. This should have been nipped in the bud (pun intended) by the rain this spring but they came back with a vengeance.
I wrote this in July:
So if we don’t break new records for high temps in Sept to Oct we’ll be ok. The climate folks say the temperatures will fall as we go into November and December. It might also lead to a very hard winter in New England.
That’s NOT! What I want to see but even that has a silver lining. Hard winters kill ticks and mosquitos and that is good for the moose and deer populations. I still have to drive in it, so I’m not looking forward to that part. 🙁
The bottom line is…
Wait I’m not done yet. We had a very damp winter and up in northern Vermont, farm and field have been so wet as to kill crops before they can be brought in. This can be deadly for Maples and it causes Anthracnose to thrive. This causes the leaves to curl up and fall prematurely.
How wide spread this is anyone’s guess at this moment. I’m watching for reports in my friends around New England to see what they are seeing. So far no one is seeing much evidence but the jury is still out.
Another issue started to make it’s presence felt. Early low temps:
Ok now for the real bottom line and what to expect… The past week has been cool in New England, How cool? I put on fleece this morning to enjoy my morning coffee (Sunny and 58 degrees). The firebush that I pass by on my evening walk, start turning last Tuesday(ish).
Also, I looked out my back door the other afternoon and saw red. I was seeing red where I don’t expect it, was it a cardinal in the tree? No, it was a sumac with a few bright red leaves. Don’t worry late July to August normal to see a few leaves turn orange/red.
I lead off with this in August:
Could we be having an early fall foliage season?
Well I now have a very cool August to think about and this leads to me announcing early fall color in Sept if… Jim Salge over at Yankee is optimistic that the trees are happy and this year should be a great fall foliage year. Up to a point, I agree with them (I’m a glass is half empty kind of guy). But I do think the odds are with us and if mother nature can kick those low temps into gear and give us more sunny days in Sept and October, then this will turn out to be a serious leaf peeper, dream year!
‘Spectacular’ Autumn Foliage Is Forecast For New England
So Yankee calls it and now Mother Nature is supposed to live up to it… We know what happens there. I was called by WBZ radio in Boston and several other newspapers to get my take on Yankee’s call for Spectacular New England fall foliage.
I said that IF we continue to stay cool and it doesn’t warm up (that was strike one), If the Anthracnose doesn’t show up (that was strike two) AND IF we don’t get an big storms with rain and wind killing the leaves (there was strike three) We could have a very good foliage season.
What did we get?
Anthracnose and tar spot
Fall color delaying temps with records broken across Vermont and New Hampshire
In late October we got back to back rain with wind events and the latter knocked out power to 300,000 people in New England
Am I happy I got close this year? Hell no! I would much rather be able to tell you each week where to find great fall colors. I did get comments back from many folks who had found eye popping fall colors during their trips. They also found great cider donuts and wonderful fall festivals, all because they made back up plans… Did you?
I will continue to write article through the fall, winter and spring and work on making my site easier to navigate. I have sections like my photo galleries in areas where you can look for them by state. I also have articles based on subject like planning or covered bridges.
If you have thoughts on this let me know.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.