Fall Foliage

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

October 10, 2018

Fall has arrived in southern Ohio. For many individuals, fall began on September 22 with the autumn equinox. My personal perception of the start of “fall” is the commencement of grain harvesting in the area. Others could debate that the start of fall is when the leaves begin to change color. When the fall foliage reaches its peak, the leaves are certainly a beautiful sight to see.

For many areas in the United States, fall foliage is a large tourist attraction. Vibrant red, yellow, and orange leaves provide a kaleidoscope of colors for leaf enthusiasts to enjoy. However, this year the change in color of the leaves has had a slower start than other years. Deciduous trees, which are trees that loose their leaves at the end of each growing season, have been impacted by the weather patterns we have experienced this year.

Trees and plants survive on photosynthesis to break down chlorophyll. During the summer chlorophyll causes the green color of leaves. As the trees begin to shut down for the winter, the leaves start to change color due to the changes in their chemical compound.

This year, we have experienced a hot summer with steady rainfall. This combination has caused a delay in the start of the color change, and also may cause the colors to not be as vibrant as other years.  According to Christine Gelley, an OSU Extension Educator in Noble County, “color changes are most dramatic in years where summer transitions to fall with a series of warm sunny days, followed by crisp (not freezing) nights.”

In Highland County, some of the trees are beginning to change color, but many of the trees are still a shade of green. Dryer weather, cooler nights and sunny days could increase the rate of the color change in the area. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources publishes a fall color report that is updated regularly. Paint Creek State Park is listed as “changing” colors. Currently, there are several Ohio state parks that are near their color peak, but none are listed as at the peak of color yet. To see the Fall Color Report visit: http://www.ohio.org/season/fall?field_dates_value%5Bdate%5D=09/01/2018&field_dates_value2%5Bdate%5D=11/30/2018.


Upcoming Events

Beef Quality Assurance Training: 

  • Thursday, October 25, 2018, 6:30 P.M., Producer Stockyards, Hillsboro, Ohio

Call your local Ohio State University Extension Office to register for the BQA training. The Highland County Extension Office can be reached at 937-393-1918.

The Global Climate Change Update with Dr. Thomas Blaine from The Ohio State University will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, from 6: 30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. The program will be held at the Brown County Fairgrounds, Rhonemus Hall. The cost to attend is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, contact James Morris at morris.1677@osu.eduor at the Brown County Extension Office at 937-378-6716.

The next Highland County Monthly Extension Program will be held on December 10, 2018, at 10:00 A.M. at the Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro, Ohio. More details will be coming soon, please save the date and plan to attend.

“Fall Treasures in your Woodland: Fungi, Lichens and More” offered by A DAY in the WOODS – 2nd Friday Series partners at the Vinton Furnace State Forest on October 12

Chicken of the Woods-Todd Hutchinson-USFS-NRS

By David Apsley

October is a great time to be in the woods.  Fall foliage is often at its peak, and there is much more to see.  On the forest floor, mushrooms are often abundant and wildflowers including asters, goldenrods, and legumes are often still putting on a show.

October is a great time to be in the woods.  Fall foliage is often at its peak, and there is much more to see.  On the forest floor, mushrooms are often abundant and wildflowers including asters, goldenrods, and legumes are often still putting on a show.  Numerous lichens, which are a symbiotic association between fungi and algae, are visible on tree trunks, branches, and rock outcroppings.   Even dead and decaying logs can support many varieties of fungi, which play an important role in soil formation and nutrient cycling.  Fall Treasures in your Woodland:  Fungi, Lichens and More will help woodland owners and enthusiasts learn to identify and understand the contributions of these underappreciated organisms to the biodiversity of our forested ecosystems.

  • Explore the forest in search of fungi, lichens, and other organisms that are present in the fall, such as late-blooming woodland wildflowers.
  • Learn lichen identification and ecology from Ray Showman, author of The Macrolichens of Ohio.
  • Join Homer Elliott, Hocking College, on a foray to see and identify fungi that inhabit the forest floor environment.
  • Enjoy the fall woods, including the fall foliage and fall wildflowers.

The program starts at 9:00 AM and ends at 3:30 PM.   A registration fee of $12 will cover the cost of lunch and program materials.  Please RSVP by calling OSU Extension Vinton County at 740-596-5212, or email Dave Apsley at apsley.1@osu.edu by October 8.

“A DAY in the WOOD” and the “2nd Friday Series” are sponsored by the Education and Demonstration Subcommittee of the Vinton Furnace State Forest.  The principal partners in this effort include Ohio State University Extension, ODNR-Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, Vinton County Soil and Water Conservation District, National Wild Turkey Federation, Glatfelter, Ohio Tree Farm Committee, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hocking College, Central State University Extension, The Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, the Ruffed Grouse Society, and Ohio’s SFI Implementation Committee.

Since 2012, “A DAY in the WOODS” has nearly 60 programs with approximately 2,250 participants attending. More than 100 natural resources professionals have presented these programs to woodland owners and enthusiast just like you.  Be sure to mark your calendar so you are sure not to miss any of these great opportunities to spend A DAY in the WOODS:

A DAY in THE WOODS 2018 Brochure – Low Res-wyeaef

Directions – Experimental Forest