Frederick’s Fall Foliage

Credit: frederick.forestryboard.org - Jan Barrow

There are quite a few interesting developments in our forests this fall. Most notable is how long trees have been able to retain their foliage. In most years, trees are pretty much barren of foliage by the beginning on November; but as of November 8, 2017, many trees still retain their leaves, and some peak colors remain. This may have something to do with the late summer drought and relatively mild autumn temperatures we have been experiencing. Overall, the colors have not been very spectacular, although some maples lit up the landscape. Many hickories and beech are now displaying bright yellow foliage, as well. Throughout much of the county, we have seen abundant hard mast crops arising from the oaks, hickories, and black walnuts. The hickories, in particular, produced bumper crops; some forests were so thick with hickory nuts that the ground was very slippery. There seemed to be good production of red oak, white oak, and black oak acorns, and fair production of chestnut oak acorns, as well. It seemed that many red oak acorns fell early during the month of August this year. Walnuts were also plentiful. All this hard mast will benefit native wildlife that depend heavily on mast crops for winter sustenance. Many folks consider the heavy mast crops to signify that a long, cold, snowy winter will be upon us— the kind of winter akin to 2010 that saw frigid temperatures, heavy snows, and folks finally able to break out their snowmobiles and cross-country skis. Time will tell whether or not we have a hard winter. But, in the meantime, you might want to shore up an extra cord of firewood or so.

Article by FCFCDB member

Nature Note for 11/19/2017