Fall Foliage 2017 Season Begins in the Smokies
It’s late September and that means the fall foliage 2017 season is underway for the Great Smoky Mountains. The fall foliage predictions for this year are it will be an average season. This is because of the moderate summer temperatures during this past summer and the fact that there were no dry or drought conditions in the Great Smokies this summer. But don’t worry, an average fall foliage appearance is still a good one. And predicting a fall foliage season is like predicting hurricanes, it’s a complicated and every changing outcome. If the weather for the month of September brings a lot of sunny days with lots of sunshine in combination with cool nights then that will help produce some really pretty colors for this year’s fall foliage.
The fall foliage colors begin in the dogwood trees, red maples and sourwoods. In fact the dogwood trees are already showing a lot of purple and orange colors in their leaves. Next to appear will be the gold, orange, yellow and red colors in the walnut, tulip poplar, maples, beech and birch trees. The last to show colors are oaks with the their beautiful dark red and brown colors. The fall foliage season in the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the longest fall foliage seasons on the East Coast. This is due to the diversity of species of trees in the area. With so many more different species of trees compared to the areas in the north the fall foliage season in the Great Smoky Mountains can last up to 8 weeks. And with the many different levels of elevation in the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding area there is always a nice showing of color somewhere during the fall foliage months.
When Hurricane Irma passed through East Tennessee two weeks ago it did cause some closures in the park. But the closures were more for safety reasons. There was no real damage to the park from the hurricane. Cleanup has been completed and all roads and areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open. The wind from Irma was not bad enough to have a detrimental effect on this year’s fall foliage season.