autumn colors

fall foliage celebrationAutumn Rainbow


Autumn is a colorful time of year, and there is much to see and enjoy outdoors. Whether you are traveling, taking pictures, studying the science of leaf change, or just enjoying the vivid array of color, this page offers prime resources for all of these activities. This season has had a slow start, but the leaves are changing so take a look and see where to go to find the color.

Selected websites below allow you to study and explore fall foliage treasures, whether you stay close to home, or travel across the country. If you are expecting visitors and would like to take them on a local tour of fall foliage sights go to 'Round the Bend's fall foliage site for the Greater Niagara region. Or visit the up-to-date report on color changes in New York State (click also on their Leaf Identifier for more).
This list is divided into several sections: Where to Go, Why Do Leaves Change Color? (the Science of Autumn), Leaf and Tree Identification, and How to Preserve the Memory of Autumn (in photos, leaf pressing, etc.). There are also Links for Kids.

maple leaf2019 Feature sites: Fall Foliage Prediction Map & Nationwide Peak Leaf Forecast.

Additional feature sites: New England Fall Foliage Outlook; Fall Foliage Viewing Coast to Coast. Catskills in Fall by Carl Heilman IIFind out what the leaves might be doing this year.

maple leafNature Photographer Carl Heilman II has a number of Fall Foliage screensaver and wallpaper designs for FREE downloading. 

If you want to take better fall foliage photos, or are interested in learning to improve your photography, visit the Best Online Photography & Art Degrees, helping students of all ages find a photography degree program for developing or advancing their career as a photographer. Contact the site author Sandy Rothaman for more info.

maple leafCan't get away? View the leaves live or in photogaphs. See our new Autumn Photography and Art section below. It includes great autumn foliage web cams.

autumn creekleaves swirlChlorophyll gives most plants their verdant hues. Sunny days and crisp nights trigger the breakdown of cells at the base of the leafs stem causing chlorophyll to decompose. Other pigments -- carotenoids and anthocyanins -- surface in the plantís leaves. The result is our autumnal display of colors in the canopies of city streets, rural woodlots, and forested hillsides.
Trees with higher concentrations of carotenoids (beech, birch, and willow) display colors of yellow and gold. Anthocyanins predominate in leaves of maples and sumac providing vivid red and orange colors. Factors such as soil nutrients, rainfall, temperature, and disease cause variations in colors within a species or geographic region. You can call the NY Fall Foliage Hotline 1-800-225-5697 for up-to-the minute highlights of New York's fall foliage progression.

Fall Foliage, Fall Colours or Autumn Colors? What is the difference between fall foliage and fall colours or colors? How about Americans vs Canadians and the spelling of colour vs color. Another important distinction is the notion of the “Leaf Peeper”, a term describing the tourists that flock to the North East New England area of the U.S. during the fall foliage season. Peepers tend to get arrested in Canada. See Fall in Ontario.

fall along the streamWhere The Leaves Are Turning

New England States

United States

Canada (especially Ontario)

Why Do the Leaves Change Color? the Science of Autumn

Leaf and Tree Identification and More Leaf Science

For Kids

How to Remember Autumn's Radiance (Photography, Preserving Leaves, etc.)

Autumn Photography and Art

Preserving Leaves

Video How To

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Frederick W. Stoss and David J. Bertuca, Science Librarians at the University at Buffalo.
Comments always welcome.

Last modified: 25 September 2019
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The materials selected above do not necessarily reflect the opinions and practices of the State University of New York at Buffalo.