The maples and black gums continue to lead the fall transition. However, most of Maryland is still seeing little change. Three factors influence autumn color: leaf pigments, weather, and, most importantly, night length. The calendar primarily regulates the timing of color changes.

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, biochemical processes in the leaves reveal autumn’s palette of colors across Maryland’s landscape.

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”-Delia Owens

We have a few photos from readers featured in this week’s report, and we welcome all of Maryland’s outdoor enthusiasts to send in photos capturing the beauty of the fall season. Please use the submission form to send your entries directly to us. Your photo might be selected to appear in a future edition of the Fall Foliage Report!


MARYLAND 5 MILLION TREES INITIATIVE

Established by the Tree Solutions Now Act in 2021??: One of the primary goals of the Maryland Forest Service is to promote the establishment of new forests to support healthy populations of native plants and wildlife. The Maryland 5 Million Tree Initiative furthers this goal by encouraging Marylanders to join our mission of planting 5 million trees by 2031! 

Learn more about this historic initiative and see how YOU can help us reach our goal of planting 5 million trees to benefit generations of Marylanders for years to come. 

Western Maryland

The big show won’t arrive in Washington County for a few more weeks, but the early signs are there. The maples start turning at the tips of their branches in the forest canopy, while the black gums reveal shades of crimson in the forest understory. Many of the woodlots with black walnut and boxelder in the Hagerstown Valley are starting to yellow. The cool nights and shorter days should get things moving in the next week or two.
– Forest Manager Aaron Cook, Maryland Forest Service, Clear Spring, Washington County

Fall is here at Deep Creek Lake State Park! Fall color changes are expected to accelerate with temperatures in the low 50s and days getting colder. The park is mostly green overall, but hickories in the higher elevations are beginning to turn beautiful shades of gold, dropping their leaves to greet the flaxen hues of the understory plants like ferns. The red maples are rounding out the fall palette, dotting the landscape with red and orange.
– Cricket Smith, State Park Ranger, Deep Creek Lake State Park

We are seeing a little more color in the far western region of Maryland, including some sugar maples in downtown Oakland.
-Melissa Nash Forester, Garrett Project Manager

Northern/Central Maryland

Still mainly green in Patapsco, with the trees still providing large shade areas along the River Road area in Sykesville. 
– Park Ranger Alyssa Myers, Patapsco Valley State Park

River Road Area in Sykesville Credit: Alyssa Myers

Southern Maryland

We are just now starting to see a slight change in color on our hardwood trees. Still mostly green, but fall is starting to peek through!
– Ranger J. Williams, Assistant Park Manager, Point Lookout State Park Complex


Eastern Maryland

While our western neighbors begin to greet the fall season, here in the eastern part of the state, our landscape is slow to part with summer blooms. The leaves are still green in Tubman Country, and the pollinator plants on the living roof are thriving. Our legacy garden is filled with various colorful native flowering plants that bloom at different times during the growing season, including the fall! 
-Dana Paterra, Park Manager, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

Photo Submissions for the Week

We’d like to thank all of the folks who continue sending photos of fall scenes from across the state. Your reports and photos show first-hand accounts of our fall transition in Maryland.

Please send us your fall foliage photos, including the names of any tree species you spot, using our easy online form!

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