Fall Foliage Finale Festival November 24-25, 2012
Thanksgiving Weekend At Boyce Thompson Arboretum
EDITOR'S FALL FOLIAGE UPDATE: as of November 18 Fall foliage is gold and orange in our pistachio trees. Peak color is still about a week ahead -- predicted after Thanksgiving. From November 20-30 look for the last golden-yellow leaves falling from the Jujube, Honey Locust and Varnish trees, while our celebrated grove of Chinese Pistachios growing across from the Herb Garden grow more vivid each day. Watch for these to turn various shades of pumpkin- orange and burgundy-red from November 25-30. Depending on weather conditions, our fall color sometimes lasts into the first week of December.
Plan a visit Thanksgiving Weekend, Our annual Fall Foliage Finale Festival Thanksgiving weekend November 24 and 25 includes live music played by Scott Schaefer
(flute, didgeridoo, guzheng) and
Scott Simon (guitar, vocals) sharing the stage as Celestial Misfits both days, with performances between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. We also have hot spiced cider and arts and crafts vendors. Professional photographers will teach participants how to shoot Fall color during special workshops.
Want an up-to-date report on the Fall color? Check our Facebook page or else Call staff at 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours. Over the course of November camera-ready Pistachio trees, Sycamores and Varnish trees can be found in the Demonstration Garden, near the Crider Garden, above Ayer Lake, and also near the suspension bridge over Queen Creek. improve your camera skills and Fall color photography at Boyce Thompson Arboretum photo workshops
What trees bring Autumn glory to the Arboretum? Our 40-foot tall Chinese Pistachio trees are usually most vivid across from the Wing Memorial Herb Garden, near the suspension bridge at the east end of the High Trail -- and also along the Main Trail as you walk above Ayer Lake.
The cluster of Pistachio located above Ayer Lake has bright foliage early in the season, and the photogenic single tree in our Demonstration Garden is among the last to have fall color. Color is usually "camera ready" in the pistachio treetops around November 25.
New arrivals to the Grand Canyon State are pleasantly surprised to learn that yes, vivid and photogenic autumn color can be foundhere in Arizona. Nowhere is it more conveniently photographed than here at the Arboretum, just one hour east of Phoenix or two hour's drive north of Tucson. A simple point-and-shoot 3.9 megapixel Olympus took some of the closeupphotos on this page.
During September and October Arboretum staff answer frequent phone calls and emails asking a familiar question: "where can I find the best foliage?" Around mid-October the aspens turn golden in the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff, followed by trees lining the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona. The weekend prior toHalloween is typically best for the maples turning red in the central and southern Arizona mountain ranges such as the Pinals near Globe and the Catalinas near Tucson.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum has "Arizona's Fall Foliage Finale" about a month after the most colorful leaves have fallen in the higher elevation deciduous forests. Peak color at the Arboretum varies each year, but optimal weeks are typically from about Nov. 20 through Dec. 5. Could autumn truly be complete without getting outside to enjoy splendid fall color and the swirl of leaves carried on a November breeze?
Golden backlit leaves of a honey locust are shown at right, colorful clusters of pyracantha berries are below, and red pistachio leaves are featured on this page. Bring plenty of film when you visit... a chair and good book, too: there are many places around our trails and gardens to find a quiet place to sit, read and enjoy the gentle sounds of November.
Visit at the end of our foliage season and December gusts will send pumpkin-orange, red and yellow leaves swirling alongside the trails as you walk through forested collections on a breezy day. More than two miles of paths meander past Pistachio trees, Pomegranate hedges, Combredum and other species, so the Arboretum offers your family and friends a fine Autumnal outing. Tourists flock to New Hampshire and Vermont to see colors like these -- and if you haven't made the effort to get out and see our own foliage right here in Arizona, these images should provide sufficient motivation.
Pistachio trees turn orange, golden and red hues. There are more than a dozen pistachio trees around our grounds, mature ones with leafy canopies that sprawl 40 feet above. The right mix of temperature and moisture conditions brings peak color to the grove of trees across from the Wing Memorial Herb Garden, where golden autumnal pomegranate hedges lead towards thepumpkin-orange pistachios. One of our most impressive and colorful pistachios is within five minutes walk from the visitor center, and easily accessible to visitors who use walkers or wheelchairs
According to Boyce Thompson Arboretum Horticulturist Kim Stone, "trees with yellow leaves run from mid-October to early November, while trees with orange to red leaves are at peak color from mid-November through early December. Combretum is usually best in late December but will remain red for several months since these don't drop their leaves." Stone adds that varieties which show color from yellow to golden or copper tones include Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos ssp. inermis), Pomegranate (Punica granatum), and Soapberry (Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii). Also look for Canyon Hackberry (Celtis reticulata), Arizona Sycamore (Platanus racemosa var. wrightii), Pecan and also fruit trees including Jujube (Ziziphus jujube), Native Ash, Black Walnut, Willow, and Cottonwood. Festive clumps of red pyracantha berries (above at right) ripen each fall near the Herb Garden. These are favored by colorful birds such as Northern Cardinal, Spotted Towhee, Phainopepla... and comical little cliff chipmunks and squirrels.
Look just west of the Herb Garden collection for the pyracantha bush loaded with fruit. Bring a recent magazine or that Summer reading book you meant to finish... plan to spend a peaceful afternoon reading beneath the pistachio tree right in the heart of our Demonstration Garden, where pergolas, waterfalls and warm late afternoon sunshine create a serene atmosphere.
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