October 10, 2019
Brisk fall weather is here and brighter colors are starting to show! Recent cool night temperatures have brought color to sumac, Virginia creeper, and growing in sunny areas of the grounds. Redbud, coffeetree, hackberry, and Freeman maples in the visitor center parking lot are coloring nicely. Dashes of orange color is developing on sugar maples located along Route 53, at Lake Marmo, and near Big Rock Visitor Station. Please note, poison ivy turns a brilliant shade of red during the fall, but avoiding contact is recommended (here is what to look for). Otherwise, the grounds and collections remain much the same as last week, mostly green with hints of lightening color.
Plants in the collections are still showing lighter-greens to yellow-greens with plants in more stressful sites developing brighter fall colors. Plants in the visitor center parking lot medians, and some in full sun away from irrigated areas are turning yellows and reds: hackberry (yellow), redbud (yellow), tree lilac (yellow), coffeetree (yellow), and some Freeman maples (yellows and reds) are showing good fall colors. The crabapple collections on the east and west sides are beginning to show some red fall fruit colors as their leaves drop. In collections linden (yellow), redbud (yellow), hickory (yellow), walnut (yellow), flowering dogwood (reddish-purple), sumac (red).
Woodland canopy trees are turning a paler green with sugar maples in the far East Woods showing hints of yellow and orange in their sun lite tops. Some of the sugar maples along Route 53 and north of Lake Marmo are beginning to show spotty orange. Bur oaks are turning yellow and beginning to drop their leaves and the woodland ground layer is turning yellow and brown. The Schulenberg Prairie is a good place to visit to see other plants develop color.
It is a great time to get out of your office or home and journey through the Arboretum’s changing collections and landscapes.