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When Do Trees Change Color in Helen, Georgia?

By Charlene Williams
Cool autumn weather and bright sunshine produce vivid leaf color.
fall leaves image by Sean Wallace-Jones from Fotolia.com

Nestled in the mountains of north Georgia, Helen is a quaint, Bavarian-style town, designed to resemble an alpine village. In northern Georgia, fall leaf color is best in October, which is an excellent time to visit Helen for its Oktoberfest or nearby scenic attractions.

Best Color

By late September in north Georgia, you will see a few early yellows or reds but most trees are still green. By mid-October, more colors are visible, including deeper reds and russets. Peak color typically occurs around the last week in October. Leaf color varies from year to year so it’s a good idea to check ahead before traveling.


According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, bright sunlight and cool temperatures produce the most vivid fall leaf colors. Lower temperatures enhance deep reds, but freezing temperatures weaken the display. Adequate rainfall helps trees retain leaves longer; heavy rain and wind can quickly ruin fall foliage.

Why the Change

During spring and summer, leaves act as food factories for the tree. According to the State University of New York, the shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn signal an end to food production. Chlorophyll breaks down and chemical changes occur, resulting in the emergence of yellow, orange and red leaf colors.


About the Author


Based in the Atlanta area, Charlene Williams has been writing and editing since 1988. She has over 15 years of experience working as a technical writer in the software industry. She has worked as a freelance writer for the past five years, and is a contributing writer for eHow and Answerbag. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kennesaw State University.