Vermont Foliage is a spectacular site. During the early part of September, the shorter days and lower temperatures signal the trees to prepare for winter. After a long sunny and beautiful Vermont summer the trees reward Vermonters and visitors alike with a breathtaking burst of colors.
Southern Vermont's spectacular fall foliage is due to the abundance of Maple Trees - The versatile Maples not only gives us sap (for Vermont's famous Maple Syrup) in the Spring, but along with the Beech, Elm, Ash and Yellow Birch gives us to the colorful fall foliage Vermont display.
The leaf colors, brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red begin to appear at the higher elevations (Stratton Mountain, Mt Equinox, Mount Snow, Bromley) around mid-September and continue changing through October. The Three Mountain Inn located within Southern Vermont's numerous elevation grades and right on Vermont Scenic Route 100 will allow you to observe the stunning Vermont fall colors.
Stay in our Southern Vermont Inn; whether you hike the Jamaica State Park, take a drive through Vermont's Route 100 and other mountain back roads or enjoy Stratton Mountain's gondola ride you will be astonished at the awesome scenery of the Fall Foliage in Vermont.
Stay with us in our Bed and Breakfast for your Vermont Fall getaway!
Why to the leaves change colors?
Remember high school science class? It’s all about science, leaf pigments and Photosynthesis!
Photosynthesis n: A process by which green plants and other organisms produce simple carbohydrates from carbon
dioxide and hydrogen, using energy that chlorophyll or other organic cellular pigments absorb from radiant sources.
In plain English: sunlight is converted into the energy used by plants to grow, flower, and produce seed.
The red and blue light in sunlight is absorbed by chlorophyll (pigment); the light reflected by the leaf appears green. Ironically bright sunlight causes chlorophyll to decompose; therefore, during summer months chlorophyll is continuously broken down and regenerated in the leaves.
In Autumn, as the trees prepare for winter they grow a membrane between the branch and the leaf stem. This membrane interferes with the regeneration of chlorophyll, without the green chlorophyll the “Fall colors” are revealed. The yellow and orange Foliage colors are always present in the leaves and appear as the trees become dormant for the Winter.
Why do some Maple trees turn red?
The pigments responsible for the Autumn colors are carotene and anthocyanins. Some trees have both carotene and chlorophyll all year long. As the chlorophyll level diminishes from a leaf, the remaining carotene causes the leaf to appear yellow or orange.
Anthocyanins absorb blue and green light and therefore appear as red. Unlike carotene, anthocyanins pigments are not present in the leaf throughout the year, but are actively produced by the leaf’s cell sap (not syrup sap) as the chlorophyll levels decline - early Fall. Anthocyanins are also responsible for the red fruits – apples, cranberries, grapes…
The production of anthocyanins, the range and the intensity of the autumn colors are greatly influenced by the weather. Low temperatures and bright sunshine destroy chlorophyll, if the temperatures stay above freezing; the production of anthocyanins increases. Dry weather also increases the amount of anthocyanins – by increasing sugar concentration in cell sap thus simulating production. If these conditions are not balanced, the Maple leaves will turn orange or yellow. If too much anthocyanin is produced the leaves can have a purplish appearance.
So the brightest autumn colors are produced when dry, sunny days are followed by cool, dry nights -- in other words the typical Vermont Fall weather!
Make your science teacher proud – come to Vermont and see science in action!
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