Enjoying the colors of autumn? Head to Southeastern Pennsylvania for its prime weeks of fall color.
New England’s got nothing on Southeastern Pennsylvania when it comes to leaf peeping. Or at least it won’t in the coming week or two, when the region’s trees hit full color.
“Next weekend, the 22 through 24, that would be pretty darn good, that whole following week after that would be best color,” said Edward T. Dix, forest program specialist with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry’s Communications & Interpretation Section.
Dix compiles the state’s weekly fall foliage report, for which he gets help from foresters across the state. Leaves change earlier in colder climates where the days are shorter. Western Pennsylvania’s prime color has now past, but due to the changing climate across the state, those in the center of the state are getting their leaf peeping fix now, and the southeast is getting ready to hit full color in the coming weeks.
Dix said Pennsylvania is a perfect place to admire fall foliage because the season is longer and the variety of trees greater. Whereas Oaks and Hickories wouldn’t grow in New England due to the harsh climate, they thrive in Pennsylvania and offer a diversity in color during the fall. The reds and oranges of sugar maples and yellows and purples of ash trees are about to beautify the already lush countryside.
“The maples, dogwood and ash are three species that change color early, so they are already coloring up in eastern Pennsylvania,” Dix said.
He also offered a tip to those making the trek to admire the natural beauty of our neighbors to the north: Look to bodies of water for great foliage.
This summer’s draught left some leaves parched and turning early. Low-lying areas around lakes, though, will have trees that were less affected with gorgeous colors abounding. Plus, the view up ahead will be reflected in the water.
The only thing that could ruin the region’s charm would be windy weather that knocks the leaves off prematurely.
“If we get nice, calm weather, they can hang on there for two weeks,” Dix said.