Mid-season storms delivers late Florida fall foliage season

Peak foliage period predicted be in early-to-mid November

Three Rivers State Park. Pintrest: Robert Green. SouthernLiving.com
Three Rivers State Park. Pintrest: Robert Green. SouthernLiving.com

JACKSONVILL, Fla. – The dominant foliage colors in the Sunshine State are yellow and red, however, you'll have to wait until early November to see our tree leaves in change. The peak foliage period for Northeastern Florida and Southeastern Georgia is predicted to be between November 5th and 12th this year. 

The Science Behind Foliage

It all starts with photosynthesis which is the process whereby green plants use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Chlorophyll is a primary component of photosynthesis as it allows plants to turn sunlight into glucose, which in turn feeds the trees. The chlorophyll saturated leaves causing them to appear green to the naked eye. 

Because chlorophyll is produced as a result of sunshine, shorter days fall days means less chlorophyll is produced and the leaves change to a darker hue.  In fact, without the presence of chlorophyll the leaves would remain orange, red and yellow through the year. Florida has a lower longitude than the majority of the other states, so we experience longer days for a longer period of time that the rest of the county. Therefore, our foliage changes are later in the fall season.

What's Different About 2017?

The strong winds produced by Hurricane Irma and few a Nor'Easters ripped apart many trees in our area.  As a result, the fall foliage will not be completely offset, but you may see some more green leaves that usually as the trees attempt to regenerate during the early days of autumn. 

​Southern Living Magazine named Three Rivers State Park the best place in Florida to view the 2017 fall foliage. The park borders the Georgia state line and is located in city of Chattahoochee about a three-hours drive from Jacksonville. 

Fall Foliage Across America

In the Northeast, the foliage is patchy along the coasts, but inland areas of the New England and upstate New York are already experiencing their peak foliage. In the West, from the Great Plains to the Rockies to the Pacific Coasts the leaves are nearing their peak. Meanwhile, across the Southeast into the lower portions of the Great Smokey Mountains the foliage changes remain rather patchy. 

Seasonal patterns shifts across the country over the next few weeks cause the leaves to gradually transition from their summer-like green tent into reddish and orange hues. View the foliage forecast Fall Foliage map.