Consultants select the most effective locations to see fall foliage in Southwestern Pa. – WPXI

PITTSBURGH – Local foresters, outdoor enthusiasts, biologists and motorcyclists all have their favorite spots to see the autumn panorama of the leaves.

According to our partners at, mountains, hills and river valleys are among the best places to see the fall leaf spectacle, not only because of the number of trees, but also because of the variety.

“The diversity of the landscape creates many different types of soils, chemicals, and moisture levels that provide the abundance of different tree species here,” said Charles Bier, a Buffalo Township resident and senior director of Conservation Science at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

There are 134 species of trees in the state and many more shrubs and vines that help represent the fall color, according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

As the fall progresses, different species of trees change color and mix in the landscape, Bier said.

“Sugar maples are found in rich, damp valleys, the aspens will turn yellow in younger forests that were once farmland,” Bier said. “The oaks often change last and keep the leaves longer, which gives us browns and reds when other trees have shed their leaves.”

Yellow stripes halfway up a mountain, as seen while driving the Pennsylvania Turnpike, will likely be tulip trees, Bier said.

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