Nature

Fall Foliage Begins to Arrive at Lost Maples State Natural Area

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The first of Lost Maples State Natural Area’s fall foliage reports was released recently and the outlook for a colorful autumn at Lost Maples is good. The park, which is located near Vanderpool, Texas reports that, “As summer came to a close, Lost Maples State Park received some much needed rains. This gave a spring-like atmosphere to the grasses and trees in the park. The large majority of the maples are still cheerfully green, while only the sycamores in the park seem to realize autumn is upon us. With the much-anticipated cooler temps, now is a good time to visit the park.”

Many Species of Trees

lost maples tree

Photo: Facebook/Lost Maples State Natural Area

At Lost Maples State Natural Area, there are several different species of oak, and also bigtooth maple, sycamore, mesquite, Texas persimmon, Texas mountain-laurel, Texas madrone, redbud, wild grape, prickly pear, and various types of brush, grasses, and ferns. Bigtooth Maple colors are brilliant if autumn is droughty, or has cold nights, but are muted in a mild, damp autumn. Texas red oak gives a fine crimson display almost every year and may retain its leaves well into winter.

The Natural Area is most crowded when the fall colors peak in late October-early November. Evidence suggests that the maple trees that give the preserve its name are relics: remnants of a larger, more widespread population that flourished during the cooler and wetter climate of the last glacial period. Today, their distribution is limited by the relative rarity of the soils and microclimates they require to thrive.

Among the Most Showy in the State

Lost maples leaves
Photo: Facebook/Lost Maples State Natural Area

The leaves at Lost Maples are among the most showy in the state. In the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor. To follow the progression of the fall foliage at Lost Maples State Natural Area, follow the park on Facebook.

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