Autumn is right around the corner with the official start on Sept. 23. The change of seasons means it won’t be long before leaves begin to change color.
“We have such a great range of species which helps buffer us from weather effects,” said John Seiler, a Virginia Tech forestry professor and expert in tree physiology.
“Red colors come from blackgum, scarlet oak, northern red oak, sassafras, red maple, sourwood and white oak. Hickory, chestnut oak, red maple add yellow. So does yellow-poplar, which is dropping a bit early already. Sugar maple leaves turn yellow or red-orange. Black oak leaves bring golden brown,” Seiler said.
Planning a road trip? The best viewing, Seiler said, should be around the end of October.
“This year, I would suggest from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5. I always try to include two weekends for people to plan their fall foliage driving tours,” he said.
The drier conditions lately could shorten the season, but there is still time for more rain, he said.
“A lot also depends on the weather we get in September and early October. Good moisture and cooler temperatures are the ticket.”