Online updates begin soon for fall color in Georgia Mountains

Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 11:28 AM
Last updated 6:59 PM
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Autumn is just a week old, but falling temperatures are jump-starting north Georgia’s annual transformation into a wonderland of fall foliage.

“We’re seeing dogwoods, sourwoods and maples just beginning to change now in the upper elevations of north Georgia,” said Ken Masten, the district manager of the Georgia Forestry Commission’s

Coosa District. “If present conditions continue, we’re setting the stage for a good fall season.”

This year, both the Forestry Commission and the Georgia Division of State Parks & Historic Sites will offer details and status reports on fall foliage, with times and locations that offer the best viewing.

Georgia Forestry Commission foliage reports, which will begin Oct. 4 on the agency’s website, www.gatrees.org, will include information about specific species and their corresponding color changes.

Peak color displays depend on a combination of elevation, tree species and weather. In Georgia, there are vivid yellows from birch and poplar and various shades of red from maples, gums and whiteoaks. Black walnut and hickory trees turn a lovely gold, while red-orange hues emerge from sassafras. Low-growing sumac turns a light purple.

Recommended driving routes, historic sites, weekend events, and scenic locations where people can count on the best views are included in the updates.

The Georgia Forestry Commission’s Facebook page will also sponsor a weekly fall foliage photo contest for its fans. The winner will receive an annual pass to Georgia state parks.

“North Georgia is known for its beautiful vistas, good roadways and amazing diversity of tree species,” said Masten. “Our annual fall foliage reports are a popular service that helps Georgians and visitors get maximum enjoyment out of this great time of year.”


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