September 7, 2023
The Appalachian Highlands, home to thriving mountain towns, as well as lakes, rivers and scores of hiking and biking trails, is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
And in a matter of weeks, the vibrant shades of autumn will dot the regional landscape.
As you plan your fall excursions, searching for orange and yellow hues hugging meandering roads and mountaintops alive with red and purple, East Tennessee State University plans to make the process easier.
For the second straight year, ETSU will offer a weekly prediction about fall color.
“We live in a stunning area, with beautiful and diverse trees and vegetation,” said Travis Watson, the university’s campus arborist. “Our hope is that this weekly update will help the public enjoy the breathtaking Appalachian Highlands even more.”
The prediction is published each Thursday until the season ends. The report includes when fall color will appear and then peak in both the highest and lowest elevations in the region.
Watson, who holds a master’s degree in biology from ETSU, will also offer thoughts about how the week’s weather – temperature, precipitation and storms – will affect fall color.
Here are some other notes to keep in mind:
Foliage comes sooner in the higher elevations.
- For much of the lower elevations in places like Johnson City, Bristol, Greeneville and more, color usually increases around the first of October.
- From heavy rain to unseasonable temperatures, weather plays a major role, sometimes increasing the vibrancy of autumn color or playing spoiler for those who enjoy leaf peeping.
The first prediction will publish Thursday, Sept. 14. Look for it on ETSU’s social media platforms, as well as ETSU News.