No matter where you are in Virginia, maple trees are putting on their autumn finery. Red maple, a highly adaptable species, grows statewide. It shows its characteristic blaze of color in places as varied as eastern swamps, Piedmont hills, urban streets, and mountain ridges. In the mountains, sugar maples add a sunny, vibrant orange to the landscape.
Fall color season is underway across the state. In Southwest Virginia, peak colors can still be seen in many areas. The Mount Rogers area is at or just past peak. Peak colors are expected within the next week at lower elevations. In the New River Valley, colors are near peak in the higher elevations, and approaching peak in the lower elevations. In the Allegheny Mountains, colors are past peak. In the Shenandoah Valley, approximately 50% of the trees have color and are at or approaching peak.
Elsewhere in the state, the Piedmont has approximately 25% color. The Coastal Plain is expected to peak in mid-November.
Fall fire season is in effect from October 15th to November 30th, so remember to be careful with outdoor fire. When burning leaves, the Virginia Department of Forestry recommends burning small piles, have water on hand and a cell phone nearby to dial 911 if it gets out of control.