Time for Fall Foliage and Fun!

A tree at a pond in a county park.

It’s October! And the long, hot rainy summer that continued through early fall is now over. We are looking forward to being outdoors to enjoy the crisp fall temperatures and a beautiful palette of fall colors in our trees.

The abundant rain of late summer and fall has kept Virginia’s forests mostly green into early October. You may spot some of the early changers like black gum, poison ivy, dogwood, Virginia creeper and sumacs flashing shades of red along forest edges. The trees that tend to turn yellow early in the season usually drop their leaves quickly. These include yellow poplar and black walnut.Virginia Department of Forestry


When Are Peak Fall Colors?

A map provided by the Virginia Department of Forestry shows when we can expect to see peak fall colors in our area and around the state.

Virginia Fall Foliage Map


Common Virginia Trees and Fall Colors:

  • Ash: yellow, maroon
  • Beech: yellow to orange
  • Dogwood: scarlet to purple
  • Hickory: golden bronze
  • Oak: red, brown or russet
  • Poplar: golden yellow
  • Red Maple: brilliant scarlet
Read Virginia Fall Foliage Report


The peak fall foliage also highlights Fairfax County’s substantial 57 percent of tree cover. Our beautiful tree canopy not only adds to our quality of life, but also provides air quality, water quality and stormwater benefits. For example, a 12-inch red maple intercepts more than 2,000 gallons of stormwater runoff in one year.

Unfortunately, threats to the tree population are the same here as elsewhere in the United States. Tree loss is caused by humans, animals (deer overpopulation) and invasive insect species such as the emerald ash borer and the gypsy moth.

Preserving and protecting our tree cover year-round is the responsibility of Urban Forest Management, which began in 1973 when the county adopted its first tree preservation and planting ordinance. Our 19 urban foresters are in two branches, forest conservation (conserve tree cover) and forest pest (prevent infestations) that work closely with homeowner associations, residents and county agencies.

RELATED >>>>> 44 Million Trees In Our County – That’s Throwing Some Shade!


Get Outside and Play!

If you’re looking for your fall foliage fix, look no further than our Fairfax County parks. We’ve harvested all the autumn fun into one convenient place to help you plan for a festive season in the parks. We’ve got bluegrass music in the barn, pumpkins at the Farmers Markets, ghost train rides around the lake and a carnival at the farm.

Find Your Fall Events in the Parks See Fall Foliage by Land and Lake in the Parks


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