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Forest researcher predicts a colorful fall in Virginia

Fall colors on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus.
Christina Franusich
Virginia Tech
Fall colors on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus.

A forest researcher says trees in Virginia are going to be very colorful this year because of steady rainfall we had this summer. The peak will be October 29th.

“You’re gonna have good color on [Oct.] 22. And you’re even gonna find good color into November,” said John Seiler, professor of forest biology at Virginia Tech.

Central Appalachia has some of the world’s most vibrant, and bio-diverse forests, because we have more species of trees than in New England or in the West.

“Which is one of the reasons I always tell people, we have really good fall color [every year],” Seiler said. “Because we’re not relying on like a couple tree species.”

To see the best fall foliage, Seiler suggests get off major highways and into the mountains.

“And have fun with it. I always tell people, don’t look at your GPS and see what you find.”

He said some of the best routes to see fall colors are in West Virginia because most of the roads there wind in different directions and go up and down in elevation, which shows variations in tree species and the most colors.

In Virginia, Seiler said he thinks the Blue Ridge Parkway or any state route through southwestern Virginia has some of the best opportunities for fall colors.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Updated: September 23, 2022 at 1:48 PM EDT
Editor's Note: Radio IQ is a service of Virginia Tech.

Roxy Todd is Radio IQ's New River Valley Bureau Chief.