Sunny Redding Shows Intense Color – Go Now!

Strawberry Tree, Arbutus (10/31/12) Charissa Gilmer

Color spotter Charissa Gilmer of the City of Redding sends these photos of fall color, intensified by the overcast of recent rain clouds.

Chinese pistache (10/31/12) Charissa Gilmer

Redding City Hall (10/31/12) Charissa Gilmer

Shasta County

50 – 75% – Redding – This capital city of northeastern California is also the second-sunniest city in the nation, providing for ideal conditions (warm clear days and cold nights) to intensify color.

Within the City of Redding, a variety of color is now being seen, from various types of maple trees now showing a palette of lime, yellow, orange, scarlet and purple. Sycamores and Eastern Redbuds are displaying bright yellow leaves along the Sacramento River Trail.  Photinia throughout town are changing to deep red. The colorful Strawberry Tree displays green leaves and bright red, orange, and yellow fruit.  And, stunning fuschia stems of Dogwood stand out along the Sacramento River.  This color should develop over the next two weeks, though many species are peaking now.

Although it is embraced by the Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada and Coastal Range, Redding  has a Mediterranean climate that allows for a remarkable blend of native and exotic flora.  City streets show this diversity, as does the McConnell Arboretum and Gardens on the north side of Sundial Bridge, which features plantings from all five of the world’s Mediterranean climates.

Because Redding has climates varying from the northern central valley to three, very different mountain ecosystems, an array of color develops within short distances of Redding, making it an attractive base for leaf peeping excursions.  To plan a trip, go to

50 – 75% – Siskiyou County – Color change has been slow for Siskiyou County. Trees in the lower elevations are at their peak, while those at higher elevations are past peak.  Look for red dogwoods, yellow bigleaf maples and umber oaks.  Fun!   First time anyone’s reported “umber”.

Elsewhere in the Shasta Cascade, color spotter Grace Smith reports:

Shasta County

75 – 100% – Whiskeytown National Recreation Area – The national park is reporting lots of yellow in the forest, with some reds near the visitor’s center. Trees near Whiskeytown Falls are showing brilliant yellow against greens.  Recent rains are causing trees to lose leaves, so give it a week more before past peak.

50 – 75% – Trinity County – Most of the deciduous trees near Trinity Lake, Trinity Center and throughout the county are showing yellow with some orange!   Some stands are approaching past peak, with leaves falling due to recent rain.

Modoc County

75 – 100% – Modoc National Forest – Cedar’s Pass is still showing yellows, orange, and red on aspen.  All other areas of the forest are past peak.

Past Peak – Alturas – Not many leaves are left to be seen.

Lassen County

75 – 100% – BLM Eagle Lake – The BLM is reporting the trees around Eagle Lake to be at peak and beautiful, with aspens busy changing to gold, orange and red.

Tehama County

75 – 100% – Lassen Volcanic National Park – Manzanita Lake is at full peak, with aspen golden and maples starting to turn red. Cottonwood trees near Hat Creek standout with bright yellow-orange. Dogwoods have started to change pink to red. Again, this past week’s rains have felled leaves, though the color that remains is gorgeous.

30 – 50% – Red Bluff – Catalpa trees in town are turning with their dark green leaves now brightening and showing yellow. The Redbuds  are beginning to show a golden color. Expect Redbluff to peak in three weeks.

Butte County

30 – 50% – Butte County – Slightly higher than Red Bluff, Chico has experienced quite a bit of color change, with lots of reds, yellows, and a lot more orange. Maples are starting to turn while the ashes have a purple tint to them! Trees will be hitting their peaks in the next two weeks, especially at Bidwell Park in the City of Trees!

75 – 100% – Plumas County – The show moves down in elevation to 6,000’ along Hwy 70, which is populated with lively fall colors from red and gold to yellow.  Traveling south on Hwy 89 towards Graeagle, cottonwood and aspens remain bright along the Feather River.  The past week’s rain is predicted to turn to sunny weather over the weekend, a final weekend to see the color in Plumas County before it’s past