• Visiting us in Nelson County? Be sure to check out our Resources for Visitors •

Fall Foliage Information

Fall Foliage Information

By Phone

  • Fall Foliage Report – 1.800.424.LOVE (begins around September 23 each year)
  • Skyline Drive/Shenandoah National Park – 540.999.3500 (press “6”)
  • Blue Ridge Parkway (between Waynesboro and the North Carolina border) – 828.298.0398 (press “3”)

Online

Fall Foliage Activities

Why do leaves change color?

Most leaf colors are already in the plant leaf.

  • Chlorophyll gives leaves their familiar green color.
  • Carotenoids produce yellow, orange, and brown colors.
  • Anthocyanins add color to red apples, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and plums. They are water soluble and appear in the watery liquid of leaf cells.

Both chlorophyll and carotenoids are present in the chloroplasts of leaf cells throughout the growing season. During this time, chlorophyll is produced and broken down and leaves appear green. As days get shorter, chlorophyll production slows down until it stops. The green color is no longer visible, and other pigments present (carotenoids) with the chlorophyll are then revealed. During autumn, bright light and excess plant sugars produce anthocyanins within leaf cells.

Learn more about Why Leaves Change Color, Autumn Colors, and the Anatomy of a Leaf.

Mailing List
Subscribe to our mailing list