Fall has arrived!
Many natives and tourists enjoy Vermont the most during the fall season: hearty apple production, crisp temperatures, and most of all… the beautiful fall foliage. The Champlain Valley is home to over 35 native tree species. This wonderful diversity is made possible by the warmer climate (the Champlain valley is a whole hardiness level warmer than the rest of Vermont) and provides the Burlington area with breath taking fall color.
Maple trees are what Vermont is famous for, both for their syrup production and their fall color. The two most common species of Maple in the Champlain Valley are the Red Maple and the Sugar Maple. The Sugar Maple (pictured above) often turns a deep orange and the Red Maple (which you may have guessed) turns red. If you would like to see great examples of beautiful fall maple color in Burlington, go to Roosevelt Park, where there are fiery red Freeman maples. There’s also a great Sugar maple on the corner of North and Hyde streets.
Oaks and Beeches, both members of the Fagaceae family, start to reach the top of their northern range in the Champlain Valley. This means that they usually prefer warmer temperatures, so they can be found in Vermont where there are shallow soils that take less time to thaw in the spring. It’s easy to tell a member of the Fagaceae family because they have brown fall cover and keep their leaves well into the winter (Beech pictured above). There are some wonderful Red Oaks at the Lakeview Cemetery.
Tamaracks (also called larch) are conifers, but they are not like other ‘evergreens’ as they turn a deep golden yellow in the fall. They also lose all of their needles for the winter. The specimen above it looks like a weeping variety, not our native one, but still features the beautiful fall colors.
The White Ash (above) is a popular fall tree because of its red to deep purple fall color. These trees grow in the deepest and richest soils in the Champlain Valley. Green Ashes turn a magnificent bright yellow. To see some great ash fall color, go to Perkins Pier, or take a stroll down North Union Street.
There are many other beautiful fall colors to admire in the Champlain Valley, including the rich golds of the Hickories, pale yellows of the Poplars and the dark lasting green of the evergreens. These trees are not only beautiful but they tell the story of the landscape of the valley.
Written by: Eliza Daeschler, UVM student participating in our Naturalist Program
- Wild Life by Alicia Daniel and Linda Hamilton
- Photos from Mark Starrett
- Tree locations from Elise Schadler