Does it get any prettier? Vermont in the fall — one of your must visit bucket list places. Photo Credit: https://lightcentric.wordpress.com
We can’t believe we’re already starting to see changes in the leaves…it’s around the corner…FALL that is! Personally, it’s one of our favorite seasons in Vermont, especially here in the Mad River Valley. Some of the best fall foliage drives are right in our back yard — the drive over the gap, Route 100, even just our back country roads, are perfect for viewing the changing of the season.
We feel that while you’re driving around, it’d be great to enjoy the view and look really smart while your doing it. So here is a little info about the leaves…Vermont trees and the changing of seasons…
Deciduous tree on your left…conifer tree on your right. Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org
There are more than fifty species of trees in Vermont, split into two groups — coniferous trees (evergreens, like your pine trees) and deciduous (broad leaf trees that lose their leaves in the fall). See, knowing that you already look cooler!
It’s the deciduous trees (these are also hardwood trees) that get all the attention in the fall. These trees make Vermont look like a ROCK STAR! Combined with pops of deep green evergreens (that’s right…conifers…you’re getting it…) are what picture perfect postcards are made of.
See the variety of colors…depending on the weather…will change the reds but not the yellows…Photo Credit: sawig.wordpress.com
The most common deciduous trees in Vermont are Sugar Maples, Beech and Yellow Birch. The Sugar Maple is Vermont’s state tree (of course, it is!). There is also oak, white birch, ash…we could go on and on.
Study this chart and when you are walking through the woods, you can point out the different trees — again…how cool will you be? Photo Credit: L.L. Bean
The color changes are caused by chlorophyll (green), carotenoid (yellow, orange and brown) and anthocyanin (red). Basically, in the fall, the trees stop producing chlorophyll, so they stop being green and their other colors (the carotenoid that is already in the leaves) shows through. The trees that turn to red leaves, get anthocyanin (which is like a knight in shining armor)– it protects them before they fall, so the tree is ready for next spring. The temperature, rain fall and cloud coverage, all effect the red colors but the other colors (yellows, oranges, browns) remain mostly consistent, since the carotenoid is already in the leaves. That is very general, and of course, there are some tweaks to those rules, but that’s the basic principal of the changing of the leaves. That’s all we are going to say about that — any more technical and you’ll need a cheat sheet while you drive.
The famous red leave of a fall Maple tree.Photo credit: Bombay Outdoors.
The benefits of the fall are too numerous to mention, but we’ll throw out a few reasons… cooler weather (humidity drops), less bugs, the colors of the leaves, stunning vistas, getting to wear a sweater that goes great with new jeans…
Fall foliage drives and tours around Vermont are famous around the world. We hope your drive, hike, bike trip, motorcycle adventure, brings you to us this fall for a goodnight sleep, a glass of wine on our deck overlooking our spectacular mountainside backyard, a cold beer by the fire, a hike in the woods, or dinner in our cozy restaurant with our fall menu.
Hope your ready for fall foliage in Vermont. We are!
Our Best, Heather and Andrew