PORTLAND – With sunshine projected through the weekend, the region could be headed into a rare New England-like fall foliage peak. While nothing can compete with the cornucopia of fall colors in Vermont or the Shenandoah Valley, Oregon can expect and unusually good weekend for those looking to do some old-fashioned leaf-peeping.
Slideshow: Viewer photos of fall colors
A wet and warm Sept. contributed to a large number of trees holding onto their autumn leaves late in the season. That combined with a dry Oct (with a little night chill) means that fall colors are popping, especially trees with red and purples.
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Because our native trees are mostly evergreens, the best places to see colors are where settlement has brought deciduous trees in. But because the region’s rich soil and mild climate, leaf-changing trees grow like mad, creating large stately trees that any Vermonter with be proud of.
Check these places out if you are yearning for some colorful drive or stroll:
For a Walk
- The Hoyt Arboretum
- The Japanese Garden
- Oak Island on Sauvie Island
- The Oregon Garden, featuring Garden Scarecrow exhibit
- Reeder Road Loop on Sauvie Island
- Silver Falls loop outside Salem
Fun fact: Leaves don’t change colors because of the weather but the length of the days. The chemical Chlorophyll is what makes tree leaves green. When the days grow short, Chlorophyll wanes and the true colors of the leaves are revealed. Cold weather at night and sunny days promotes the growth of anthocyanins which makes leaves red.