By Tom Williams, Fall Foliage Leaf Spotter for PoconoOutdoors.com
White Haven, Poconos, PA September 22, 2020 – Welcome fellow leaf peepers to our favorite time of the year, the autumnal equinox! This formal beginning of Fall in 2020 is on September 23 at 3:50 a.m. We are so excited to report that from the reaches of the northern Poconos to our area here in the epicenter of the Poconos, White Haven, PA we are seeing lots of color emerging. The Poconos fall foliage splendor and all it’s glory is getting an early start due to having consistently cold evening temperatures since early September. This year the oaks will usually be their brilliant selves but the sugar maples are being affected in some ways by this early start.
These cooler temperatures and shorter days signal deciduous trees to stop producing chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis, it breaks down and exposes other brilliant leaf pigments. They create the yellows and oranges seen in the leaves of yellow poplar, hickory, sycamore, honey locust, birch, beech and certain maples. Trees also produce pigments in their leaves called anthocyanin, which creates the brilliant reds and purples seen in maple, sassafras, sumac, black-gum and scarlet oak.
Pennsylvania’s varied topography from sea level to over 2,000 feet on the Pocono Plateau, supports 134 varieties of trees that change color. Add in shrubs and vines that also contribute their color palettes, you get to be a part one of the top 3 places in the world to witness the awesome display of autumn color.
Poconos Fall Foliage Report 9/22/2020
Northern Poconos: (northern Wayne and Pike Counties) We took a ride through this area last week and there is lots of change in color but it’s muted. This is due to the summer drought we have had. 90% of the leaves are still on the trees but high winds and colder nights can bring some downfall so check the weather forecast this region could turn quickly. The Fall Foliage peak color in the Northern Poconos Region will be around the weekend of October 9, 2020.
Central Poconos: (southern Wayne, Pike and northern Monroe Counties) If you go for a mountain bike ride like we did this past weekend you will see a lot of color change and 95% of the trees still have leaves on them which makes for an amazing spectacle of light. Some species like Sassafras have exhibited colors of red, yellow, orange and Black Gum are showing shades of red. The Red Maples are varied in color depending on their altitude and nearby water. The Hickory and Ash are briefly displaying some yellowing but quickly become a dull brown. The Fall Foliage peak color in the Central Poconos Region will be around the weekend of October 18, 2020.
Southern Poconos: (southern Monroe and Carbon County) Very little color change if any at all has been witnessed in the forest from our southern Poconos leaf spotter, but be on the lookout for bright yellows of Black Walnut and Goldenrod around farmlands. Black Gum and Sassafras are showing some color. Black Gum will display a deep red and orange while Sassafras will show orange and yellow colors. 99% of the leaves are still on the trees. The Fall Foliage peak color in the Southern Poconos Region will be around the weekend of October 24, 2020.
This weekly Poconos Fall Foliage Reports will act as a source for the most up to date Fall Foliage viewing information across the entire NEPA Poconos Region. We will be offering tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn in a variety of outdoor adventures. Enjoy Enjoy the great Pocono Outdoors!
Fall Foliage Information Resources:
Penn Woods Fall Foliage Report