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Abundant Fall Color Throughout W.Va.

Back roads and major routes will be colorful drives

Fourth fall foliage report for 2014
Posted Oct. 16, 2014

West Virginia state forestry officials say leaf peepers won’t have to look far for colorful fall foliage this weekend. In fact, it will be hard to avoid. With the exception of the highest elevations and the lowest river valleys, fall color is abundant throughout the Mountain State.

Recommended points of interest this week include the New River Gorge and Harpers Ferry. Bridge Day celebrates its 35th anniversary Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Although not yet peak, foliage in the New River Gorge should provide a colorful backdrop to the day’s festivities. Color throughout Fayette County is reported to be 75 percent peak. Foliage around Harpers Ferry is reported to be very nice again this week: visit downtown, hike the Appalachian Trail or explore the National Historic Park.

Those wanting to take a colorful drive can pretty much just get in the car and go anywhere. Recommended major routes include Interstate 79 between Morgantown and Charleston, Interstate 64 between Beckley and White Sulphur Springs, U.S. Route 33 between Elkins and Weston, and U.S. Route 219 between Lewisburg and Droop Mountain. Be aware though, leaves at the top of Droop Mountain and other points of high elevation are either past peak or off the trees.

Back roads, with the exception of those in the state’s most southern counties, should provide lots of color and interesting sights.

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The next fall foliage report will be released Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014.


Why Leaves Change Colors

As the sun moves farther south the hours of daylight decrease and temperatures fall, causing leaves to stop producing chlorophyll, the chemical that colors them green. With the disappearance of chlorophyll, the underlying colors of the leaves are visible. The next strongest pigment becomes dominant, giving the leaves a "new" color.



Ash, White - Yellow
Basswood - Yellow
Beech - Yellow
Birch, River - Dull Yellow
Birch, Sweet - Yellow
Buckeye, Ohio - Yellow
Coffeetree, Kentucky - Yellow
Cottonwood, Eastern - Yellow
Elder, Box - Yellow
Elm, American - Yellow
Hazel Nut - Brownish Yellow
Hickory, Mockernut - Dull Yellow
Hickory, Pignut - Dull Yellow
Hickory, Shagbark - Dull Yellow
Hickory, Shellbark - Dull Yellow
Hophornbeam, Eastern - Yellow
Locust, Black - Yellow
Locust, Honey - Yellow
Maple, Silver - Pale Yellow
Oak, Chestnut - Yellow
Pecan - Dull Yellow
Redbud, Eastern - Yellow
Shad Bush - Bright Clear Yellow
Tuliptree - Yellow
Walnut, Black - Yellow
Walnut, White - Bright Yellow
Willow, Black - Pale Yellow


Dogwood - Crimson
Gum, Black - Deep Red
Oak, Northern Red - Rusty Red
Oak, Pin - Crimson
Oak, Scarlet - Scarlet
Oak, Southern Red - Rusty Red
Oak, Swamp Chestnut - Dark Crimson
Sourwood - Deep Red
Sumac - Brilliant Red


Oak, Bur - Pale Brown
Oak, Post - Pale Brown
Oak, Shingle - Brown
Oak, Swamp White - Pale Brown


Hawthorn - Brilliant Varying Colors
Hazel Nut - Brownish Yellow
Hornbeam - Orange, Scarlet
Maple, Red - Red, Orange
Maple, Sugar - Yellow, Orange, Red
Oak, Black - Dull Red to Orange Brown
Oak, Blackjack - Dull Yellow or Brown
Oak, White - Pink or Red
Persimmon - Glossy Green with Yellow
Sassafras - Red, Orange, Yellow
Sweetgum - Yellow, Orange, Brown
Sycamore, American - Yellow, Brown
Witch Hazel - Bright Yellow-Orange

No Change

Magnolia, Umbrella - No Change
Holly, American - No Change

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