Nov 11, 2009
Experts in fall colors say heavy rains just before the leaves turn result in less spectacular colors. Maples seem consistently spectacular, especially sugar maples, and burgundy trees like dogwoods and sourwoods seem the same each year. Hickories have a few days of brilliant gold, and maybe they linger at peak color longer in drier years. The type of tree that varies most year to year is oaks.
This fall the oaks were brown. I saw one red oak that was truly red, the exception that confirmed my impression. I dug through fall photos taken last year, and I offer this one as proof. It's a white oak near my house, and it was never as pretty this year as it is in this picture.