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Tennessee Fall Foliage Creates Unbe-LEAF-able Views!

By:Jess Barfield

About this time of the semester, UTK students could use a change of pace from their dorms and apartments, a change of scenery from Zoom meetings and classes, and we could all take a break from politics. No worries, Mother Nature to the rescue, as the leaves are turning. As a general rule, leaves in East Tennessee begin to change color in early October and peak around the third week of the month. But there’s still time to view the beautiful foliage.

This year, the Smoky Mountains and the area surrounding the UTK campus experienced more rainfall than last, which has led to a heathy and beautiful foliage. In fact, the leaves have already been turning their gorgeous fall colors in higher elevations, and will continue into lower elevations until early November.


For those of you who would like to know more about what you are looking at, here is a quick summary of nature’s color palate, with type of tree and leaf color shown:


Tulip Poplar: golden yellow

Birch: bright yellow

Black Cherry: yellow

Dogwood: deep red

Sourwood: brick red

Shining Sumac: red

Hickories: golden-bronze

Oaks: red, brown, or russet

Sugar Maple: orange-red

Black Maple: glowing yellow

Red Maple: bright scarlet or orange.


This combination of colors produces spectacular scenery!

As always, for these posts, we use the Adam Brown Social Medica Command Center software to explore how people are thinking about a topic that we write about. So, for a 7-day period, using “smokies” “foliage” and “smokey mountains” as search topics the software produced the following word cloud and sentiment analysis. As predicted, we see an overwhelmingly positive sentiment for these searches indicating, among others, that fall foliage this time of year is a perfect sight for a weekend study break.

Got any great fall foliage photos? Tweet us at @utccismcc