Bask in the bounty of the fall apple harvest amidst the scenic beauty of the Historic Hendersonville & Flat Rock area. A favorable color season requires a succession of warm, sunny days, crisp cool nights and rain to keep the leaves growing to bring about the most spectacular color displays.
As you plan your fall mountain get-away, your window of opportunity is larger than you think. The peak leaf color season lasts from early October to mid-November depending on where you are. No matter what week of leaf season you arrive, peak fall color is somewhere close by. The western North Carolina mountains provide a variety of elevations, from the highest peaks to the warm, gently rolling foothills. The chances to witness spectacular fall color and beautiful mountain vistas are plentiful in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The leaves change color when the food producing chlorophyll in the leaves dies as the days grow shorter and the temperature drops. A good color season requires warm days, cool nights and rain to keep the leaves growing. When trees stop producing chlorophyll, the green pigment in the leaves, it unveils color that had been covered up by the chlorophyll. The change in color begins in the higher elevations and cascades down the mountain side to the foothills. Remember that colors do not disappear after their peak, but become muted with age; the reds turn to rust and yellows into gold. The display includes bright reds and golds of hickory, oak, silver and red maple, dogwood, beech, yellow poplar, scarlet red blackgum, sourwood and orange sassafras all set against the deep green of evergreens. To add to the show are colorful fall flowers such as: black-eyed Susans, asters, Joe Pye weed, goldenrod, and wild sunflowers.
North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation and Henderson County is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina and grows 65 percent of the apples in the state. Henderson County is home to approximately 200 apple growers. According to Henderson County Extension Service statistics, there are about 5,000 acres of apple trees planted in Henderson County. The apple harvest season runs from late August through October. The most widely-grown apples are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Stayman, Fuji and Galas. Fresh apples, cider and many other items may be purchased at one of the many roadside apple markets or produce stands located throughout Henderson County. Some orchards offer tours and allow you to pick your own apples.
Enjoy a self-guided driving tour in and around Henderson County's apple country for apple products and view the orchards. The tour map is available at the Visitors Information Center at 201 South Main Street in Hendersonville or online at www.historichendersonville.org.
For additional information on the Historic Hendersonville/Flat Rock area, accommodations, calendar event information, or to track the progress of the fall colors call 800-828-4244 or visit our web site www.historichendersonville.org.