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When to expect peak fall colors


In the player above: Past footage of foliage at Red River GorgeThere’s a lot to love about Autumn: pumpkin patches, apple picking and the vibrant colors of the changing leaves.As our days get shorter, the nights get longer and the production of chlorophyll slows down, eventually revealing other colors in the leaf. Chlorophyll helps turn sunlight into glucose which nourishes the tree. Because leaves have millions of chlorophyll cells, they look green. Perennial trees shed their leaves to prevent soft vegetation from freezing which could damage and kill the tree. As a survival mechanism, trees close off the veins which carry nutrients and water to the leaves. To protect the trunk and limbs, trees form new cells at the base of the leaf stem. With water and nutrients no longer flowing to the leaf, it weakens and dies. Ultimately, the dying leaf weakens enough to fall off the stem and to the ground.So when can we start to see the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges transforming our local leaves?While we may have a few leaves which have already started changing, colors will begin their transition at the end of September into early October. Peak colors are expected the last week in October to the first week of November.You can check out this interactive map of the changing leaves at SmokyMountains.com

In the player above: Past footage of foliage at Red River Gorge

There’s a lot to love about Autumn: pumpkin patches, apple picking and the vibrant colors of the changing leaves.

fall colors

As our days get shorter, the nights get longer and the production of chlorophyll slows down, eventually revealing other colors in the leaf. Chlorophyll helps turn sunlight into glucose which nourishes the tree. Because leaves have millions of chlorophyll cells, they look green.

fall colors

Perennial trees shed their leaves to prevent soft vegetation from freezing which could damage and kill the tree. As a survival mechanism, trees close off the veins which carry nutrients and water to the leaves. To protect the trunk and limbs, trees form new cells at the base of the leaf stem. With water and nutrients no longer flowing to the leaf, it weakens and dies. Ultimately, the dying leaf weakens enough to fall off the stem and to the ground.

fall colors

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Fall colors 

So when can we start to see the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges transforming our local leaves?

fall foliage

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Current leaf color

While we may have a few leaves which have already started changing, colors will begin their transition at the end of September into early October. Peak colors are expected the last week in October to the first week of November.

peak fall colors

Hearst Owned

Peak Fall colors

You can check out this interactive map of the changing leaves at SmokyMountains.com

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