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Tuesday, 20 November 2018 11:55

Fall Color Final Report

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Blackberries at Potem Falls Trail, Burney Blackberries at Potem Falls Trail, Burney Laura Jean

TASTE News Service, November 19, 2018 - Traditionally, CaliforniaFallColor.com sends its last report to media just prior to Thanksgiving Day. So, this is the final California Fall Color Report for 2018.

However, that does not mean autumn's show of changing color has ended. There are still splashes of beautiful fall color to be seen, if you GO NOW!

Peak fall color will continue to appear both in Northern and Southern California well into December, perhaps even until January.

Presently, the best fall color is being enjoyed in California's urban forests, its arboretums and botanic gardens and its orchards. However, across most of California, YOU MISSED IT.


Pin Oak El Dorado Hills John Poimiroo PicmonkeyPin Oak tree shot in El Dorado Hills by John Poimiroo


The following summarizes the current condition of autumnal change across California. It was compiled from reports and photographs submitted by a network of 100+ volunteer observers. All reports are substantiated by dated photography. To learn more and to view some of these beautiful shots visit www.CaliforniaFallColor.com

Statewide Summary

Peak fall color is now being seen below 1,000' in California's Urban Forests, orchards and vineyards.

Peak of the Week is Sacramento. Towering London Plane Trees (Platanus acerifolia) create a signature canopy of branches and autumn leaves that hang over the Fabulous Forties (Avenues numbering in the 40s) and in neighborhoods surrounding Sacramento's William Land Park.

Smoke from this past week's Camp Fire (Paradise) spread a hazy pall over the Sacramento Valley which has reduced the brilliance of Northern California's show of fall color, west to the coast.

California vineyards remain at peak, by grape variety. Vineyards in northern Sonoma County were reported as Peaking. However, some color spotters attribute the smoke to having dulled color within vineyards north of Sonoma County.

Walnut and prune orchards and wildlife refuges nearby in the northern Sacramento Valley are now at Peak with some 10 million ducks, geese, cranes and other migratory birds taking up residence.

This is the last week to see Peak color in the Gold Country, which now varies from Peak to Past Peak. Black oaks in Yosemite Valley and Kings Canyon will continue to carry Peak orange color through the Thanksgiving weekend, though bigleaf maple, dogwood and Frémont cottonwood are now mostly past peak.

Past Peak: Newly added to areas now Past Peak are the Owens Valley (Eastern Sierra) and everything above 2,000', including the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Added to the tragic loss of life from California wildfires this past week, was that 83% of the Santa Monica Mountains NRA (96,000 acres) was burned by the Woolsey Fire. No reports have been received as to whether venerable California sycamore reported near the Mulholland Highway (CaliforniaFallColor.com, 10/8/18) survived the fire.

Coming Soon: Near Peak are coastal urban forests south from Mendocino to Santa Clara County. The San Francisco Peninsula will be at Peak on the Thanksgiving Day weekend. Walnut Creek, Danville, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Menlo Atherton, Redwood City, Burlingame and Hillsborough will be draped with fall color on Thanksgiving Day.

Bay Area and Southern California botanical gardens and arboretums are approaching Near Peak color and will be at Peak between Thanksgiving Day and early December.

There is very little fall color to be seen along the California coast. For true autumn aficionados, rare spots of late autumn color can be seen in The Deserts and on California's islands (Santa Catalina and the Channel Islands). There, obscure palms, trees and exotics display unusual bits of fall color.

Specific reports and time-stamped photographs are found at CaliforniaFallColor.com.


Eastern Sierra

•              Owens Valley – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

High Sierra

Western Sierra

•              Yosemite Valley, YNP (4,000') – Peak to Past Peak, YOU ALMOST MISSED IT.

•              Kings Canyon National Park (4,000') – Peak to Past Peak, YOU ALMOST MISSED IT.

Gold Country

•              Nevada City (2,477') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Grass Valley (2,411') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Auburn (1,277) – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              El Dorado Hills (768') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Mormon Island Wetlands State Park, Folsom (377') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Sutter Creek (1,188') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Mokelumne Hill (1,473') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              San Andreas (1,017') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Columbia (2,139') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Sonora (1,785') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Jamestown (1,427') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Coulterville (1,699') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Mariposa (1,949') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

Shasta Cascade

Shasta County

•              Redding (564') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Anderson (433') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

Tehama County

•              Red Bluff – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

Butte County

•              Chico – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Durham – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Oroville – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

North Coast

•              Redwood Nat'l and State Parks (26') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Eel River (200') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Redwood Highway (203'– Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Mendocino Vineyards (633') – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Sonoma Vineyards (184') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Napa Vineyards (50') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

San Francisco Bay Area

•              East Bay (50') – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

•              West Bay (50') – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

•              South Bay (50') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Central Valley

•              Sacramento – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Orchards (100') – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Central Coast

•              Paso Robles Vineyards – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              San Luis Obispo Vineyards – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Santa Maria Vineyards – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

•              Santa Barbara Vineyards – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!



Inland Empire

San Bernardino Mountains

•              Oak Glen (4,734') – Peak to Past Peak, YOU ALMOST MISSED IT.

Greater Los Angeles Region

•              Piedras Blanca Trail, Sespe Wilderness – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Santa Monica Mountains NRA – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.

•              Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

•              Santa Catalina Island – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

San Diego County

•              Julian – Peak to Past Peak, YOU ALMOST MISSED IT.

The Deserts

•              Joshua Tree National Park (3,000') – Patchy (10-50%) 

Read 203 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 November 2018 20:26

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