South Carolina trees are starting to show fall colors as temperatures drop.

Fall has finally landed in South Carolina after a warm October. Besides the cooler temperatures, autumn in the state is famous for the vibrant change in foliage color, especially in the mountainous areas of the Upstate.

Rudy Mancke, the University of South Carolina’s naturalist in residence, said this year’s climate could affect leaf color.

“This is going to be a strange year because it’s been so dry,” Mancke said. “So there have been a lot of leaves that have fallen early, therefore they aren’t going to be the many colors we kind of expect.”

Mancke also said the leaves’ vibrant colors can remain hidden in plain sight throughout the year.

“When the leaf begins to die, the chlorophyll dies, and any color that is underneath that shows up,” Mancke said. “When you see yellows especially, those carotenoids they’re called, they’re in the leaf all the time.”

The South Carolina State Parks website, which publishes a fall foliage report, states that the week of Nov. 10 will present peak or near peak leaf color for most of South Carolina. 

Columbia is no exception, with deep reds and yellows coming from sycamores and pin oaks scattered throughout the city.


Leaves are not the only things changing color this fall. Winter berries like holly start to turn red as they ripen near the end of the year.

Sycamore leaves like this one are known for their large size star-shaped leaves. They usually turn a shade of red or gold while on the branch in the fall.