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Posts tagged: fall colors

Changing Climate May Substantially Alter Maple Syrup Production

Maple leaves of many colors offer an unending palette of color in the United States Department of Agriculture, U. S. Forest Service, Hiawatha National Forest on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Maple leaves of many colors offer an unending palette of color in the United States Department of Agriculture, U. S. Forest Service, Hiawatha National Forest on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

U.S. Forest Service research indicates that climate change will affect habitat suitability for maple trees, threatening the multimillion dollar maple syrup industry. Changes in climate have already had an impact on the iconic sugar maple trees of the Northeastern U.S.

Flow of maple sap, which is boiled down to make syrup, is controlled by alternating freezing and thawing cycles in the late winter. Maple trees also rely on snowpack during this time to protect their roots from freezing. Read more »

US Forest Service Highlights Scenic Drives for Enjoying the North Carolina’s Fall Foliage

Recreationalist enjoying fall at Cheoah Point in the Cheoah Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest

Recreationalist enjoying fall at Cheoah Point in the Cheoah Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest

The US Forest Service has launched a Leaf Viewing in Western North Carolina webpage for 2012 featuring scenic drives and areas in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests for enjoying fall foliage. Visitors to the site will see pictures and get directions to enjoy the kaleidoscope of glorious leaf colors North Carolina has to offer.

Leaf Viewing in Western North Carolina describes the types of mountain trees that visitors will see during peak season at high, middle and low elevations. For example, the Cherohala Skyway in Graham County enables travelers to enjoy a variety of colorful, high-elevation trees in late September. Read more »

The Science of Autumn Colors

Fothergilla leaves make the transition from green to red in the National Herb Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum. (Photo credit U.S. National Arboretum)

Fothergilla leaves make the transition from green to red in the National Herb Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum. (Photo credit U.S. National Arboretum)

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

Like a lot of people, I remember being taught when I was young that the brilliant autumn foliage of deciduous trees was caused by the cold temperatures of autumn frosts.  I believed this until I became a horticulturist, studying the intricate system that plants use to prepare for winter’s harsh weather.  Where I work, at the U.S. National Arboretum, we grow about 10,000 different kinds of trees and shrubs and have an overwhelming variety of fall color right now. Read more »