Entries by John Poimiroo

What!? Berkeley Already?

East Bay color spotter Sandy Steinman scores Autumn’s first fall color with these photographs taken at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley’s Tilden Park. Sandy notes that the garden features California native plants and its maple were showing early signs of color. Tilden Park, Berkeley — Just Starting (10%)


Why Do Deciduous Trees Lose Their Leaves?

It’s survival not just of the fittest, but of the wisest. Deciduous trees drop their leaves in order to survive.  As days grow shorter and colder, deciduous trees shut down veins and capillaries (that carry water and nutrients) with a barrier of cells that form at the leaf’s stem. Called “abscission” cells, the barrier prevents […]


Why do Leaves Change Color?

Leaves on deciduous trees change color in autumn from green to various hues of lime, yellow, gold, orange, red and brown because of a combination of shorter days and colder temperatures. Throughout spring and summer, green chlorophyll (which allows trees to absorb sunlight and produce nutrients) is made and replaced constantly. However, as days grow […]


The Science of Changing Leaves

Last year, Smithsonian.com posted a fascinating time-lapse video of leaves transforming from chlorophyll-filled green to tones of yellow, red and brown. The video was accompanied by an article explaining how leaves change color and some misconceptions about the process. The video was created by Owen Reiser, a mathematics and biology student at Southern Illinois University […]


Climate, Conditions and Color

Environmental changes affect fall color. California is experiencing a prolonged spate of hot, dry and smoky air. That dehydrates the soil and reduces photosynthesis, which affects fall color. CaliforniaFallColor.com has been monitoring news reports of whether this autumn is predicted to be more colorful or less than in previous years. Sources in New Hampshire, Minnesota […]

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Early Signs

Some trees are showing early signs of color change. This is normal. Sycamore, Chinese pistache, Liquidambar have all exhibited tonal change in summer. In the Sierra foothills, Chinese pistache and sycamore are evolving from green to yellow-green foliage, as seen above. However, many native oak — responding to record-high, late-summer temperatures, dryness and particulate dust […]

Social Distancing

Visitors to Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet had no difficulty maintaining ten feet of social distance this past weekend, during the Coronavirus pandemic. The few that visited Diamond Valley had lightly-tread trails to hike, Lightning trout lunkers to land and a scattering of wildflowers to photograph. Jeff Brown reports that this spring’s wildflower bloom is […]

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Yosemite Wildflowers

Abundant displays of white and pink to rose-colored blossoms now appearing on flowering pear, plum and almond trees and shrubs in the Central Valley and Sierra Foothills have Californians anticipating the state’s ten-month wildflower season. Newly released by Falcon Guides, Yosemite Wildflowers (written by Judy and Barry Breckling) describes more than 1,000 species to be […]

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500 Years of Beauty

Makoto Fujimoto shares these pictures of a massive Gingko biloba tree standing near Koukokuji Temple in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. Mike reports that the tree is 500 years old, yet its early December color still shines brightly. Tokyo (131′) — Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.