This fall color season is turning out to be one of the best in years! A look at foliage really emphasizes our state's diverse biogeography. Starting in the high mountain areas of southwestern Virginia, many areas have lost about half their leaves, with the rusty browns of oaks predominating among patches of remaining gold and red tones. As you travel north and east, and lower in elevation, trees are reaching their peak coloration. These areas include most of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoah Valley. This coming weekend should provide the year's best foliage viewing in those areas.
The Piedmont ranges from 50% to patchy, with great variety in color. Most notable are the hickories' brilliant gold tones, and the red maples' grading from yellow to orange to red. The predominant oaks lend subtlety to the palette, with their maroon to rich brown tones.
Eastern Virginia's trees are waving a few colorful leaves or branches, but the the overall color there is still green. Watch for changes soon in eastern oaks, maples, and sweet gums.