Fall color is slowly drawing closer to peak across Pennsylvania and has already hit peak for the season in stands of red maple, cherry and birch in the state’s northern tier.
“Fall foliage season is ramping up and we are on the precipice of the greatest part of the season,” noted Ryan Reed, environmental education specialist in the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the author of Pennsylvania’s weekly Fall Foliage Report.
In his report for this week, Reed also notes that central and southern forests are progressing nicely. Maples in these regions are clinging to a much higher percentage of their leaves as compared to northern districts.
“This bodes well for an excellent peak foliage season in these areas,” he wrote.
“The current, above-average temperatures across the state continue to slow the color transition, except in the northeast, where foresters are observing peak foliage in many areas. Cooler temperatures in the forecast next week, with lows in 40s at night across much of the state, should push the majority of Pennsylvania forest regions to approach or achieve peak foliage.”
Northwest counties (Erie, Crawford, Warren, Forest and northern half of Venango counties): Scattered frosts and cooler temperatures are adding a “fall flavor” to the northwest region. The bright and dark red colors that were so prominent early in the season are now mixing with yellow and golden hues. Aspen, hickory and ash all are displaying their fall yellows. The greatest amount of color is still showing in the valleys and along the roadsides.
West-Central counties (Mercer, Lawrence, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Armstrong and southern half of Venango counties): Very little leaf change has occurred over the last week in Gallitzin State Forest. Black gum, Virginia creeper, dogwoods and red maples are at about 20 percent of their color. Many leaves that have changed color are drying up and dropping due to the hot, dry weather. Rager Mountain Road provides a pleasant view of Conemaugh Gap and the overlook along Skyline Drive in the Babcock Division offers views of Bedford County and Blue Knob Ski Resort.