fall color observations...
Today driving to work...
Liriodendrons - showing some surprisingly strong color this year so far. Although a good percentage (30-40%) became mostly defoliated about a month ago, due to our now-ended short-term late summer drought (ended with last week's 6" of rain), those in moister areas that held most or all of their leaves are turning a nice bright yellow so far this fall, much better than last year.
Carya - I have trouble telling the different hickory species apart, but they're often a forgotten piece of the autumnal landscape. Gorgeous deep yellow, almost orange at times, with a touch of brown undertones. They're turning nicely now and should peak this weekend.
Acer - the Acer rubrums of course vary considerably. The earlier-changing specimens were weakly colored, at best, and defoliated fast, due to the dryness and heat of September through early October, but those that are just now showing color change look to be quite stunning this year. Peak will be from now through early Nov between cultivars and species/wild trees (normal).
The saccharums are weird. There are some sugar maples around here that have an almost pinkish-red tone starting to show, very intense, while others are barely even turning yellow - even those trees that usually color quite nicely. Again, I think it's the timing - the earlier coloring specimens got started by the cool clear nights and sunny days of September, but got too dry, and our week of 90s in early October dried them out too fast, while those that held their green a bit longer look to be quite nice. Overall the sugar maples will end up about average, but with extremes of very poor and very good color. Expect peak color in about 7-10 days on these.
Most other maples (Japanese, Norway, etc) are still solid green.
Nyssa - they're on FIRE around here, and mostly past peak already, but a few here and there are still peaking. Good color (as is usual in this are) on most of the tupelos (or blackgum if you prefer) this year. Peak was about 10/5.
Liquidambar: All over the map, but generally looking to have a good year. My sweetgum (a 12' volunteer sapling), which has been a dud until now, is showing yellow inner leaves and developing some nice purple-red on some of the upper leaves (the most sun-exposed). Peak around Nov 1-10?
Some sort of leaf scorch or blight is turning most of the red oaks (rubra, velutina, coccinea, palustris, phellos) brown & many are already half-bare. Those that still have nice canopies are mostly still all green, but some pin oaks are showing a little red or bronze.
Jury still out.
Mostly green & leaves overall far healthier this year than the reds. Some of the Q. albas and Q. stellatas I see around are turning a nice maroon on some of the older, inner leaves, so they're looking promising. Expecting an above-average year for the white oaks. Peak after 11/1 most likely as is typical.
Just a summary of what I saw this morning at home and on my drive.
Pics to follow if I can snap some this weekend.