Changing leaves begin to add more color to the Vermont landscape as early fall foliage season continues to progress.
Vermont foresters report bright reds, oranges and yellow are present in cool and wet areas, particularly in the north. Much of the state is just beginning to gets pops of color and has a long way to go before reaching peak color.
“Northern areas of the state continue to have the most vibrant color at this time due to these trees being exposed to cooler temperatures first. In particular, those areas with an abundance of red maples are providing great views of crimson in the Northeast Kingdom,” the report read. “Sugar maple foliage is progressing as well, with foliage ranging from yellow to orange to auburn, and birch species are well on their way to displaying their yellow hues across the higher elevations.”
Some trees are feeling the effects of a particularly rainy summer season by shedding their leaves early. Leaf drop is an important part of nutrient cycling which helps ensure the health of Vermont trees and forests, according to Vermont foresters. They say colorful leaves on the ground complement the experience and that much of the state is still shaping up for a brilliant display this season.
Peak foliage may be delayed
Jim Salge, a northeast foliage forecaster, predicts that temperate weather the region has been experiencing could push peak fall foliage back somewhat this year.
“We are only a week or so away from the earliest traditional peak times in the far north and mountains, but it’s been so warm, cloudy, and humid, that it definitely won’t happen on the normal schedule,” he said in an interview with Yankee Magazine. Salge said unless the region gets a good cold front soon, it is likely peak will be delayed by a week or so. Here in northern Vermont, peak often occurs around Oct. 8. An updated map by Yankee Mag is showing Vermont peaking between Oct. 19 and 29 this year.
Salge did address Vermont specifically: “Vermont has some of the best forests for fall color in the world and really suffered with the flooding this year. Even if the colors aren’t exceptional, they are always beautiful, and I encourage you to direct your leaf-peeping adventures towards the hard-hit Vermont communities.” He encouraged foliage chasers to drive the ever-popular Vermont 100 end-to-end.
As for right now, Essex County and the 26,000 acres of Groton State Forest have some of the best displays of autumnal color in the state currently, according to the Vermont Fall Foliage Report.