Few trees are as colorful as a fall sassafras, which shows a wide variety of hues, often all on a single plant. The leaves are not all the same, either. Some have a single lobe, looking much like a mitten, while others have multiple lobes or none at all. In autumn, the sassafras will sometimes look like it’s glowing from within, with shades of lemon yellow near the trunk working to corals and coppers at the end of the branches. We’ve seen a few starting to light up like these young sassafras on the Blue Ridge Parkway today:
Pilot Ridge Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Elevation 4400 feet
As has been the case with our photos so far, this isn’t the norm at this elevation. In fact, this is a wider view of the Parkway heading south from the same overlook. You can see a pop of bright scarlet from a maple and hints of yellowing leaves, but not much more color yet. Local experts are predicting that the peak for areas above 5000 feet (like Grandfather and Beech Mountain, and ridges along the Parkway) will reach peak color in the coming week or so.