Alishan presents a sea of red maple leaves

If you love maples, don’t miss the following news. Alishan is not just famous for cherry blossoms in the spring. As the weather gets milder in autumn and winter, along the highways and in the Alishan National Forest Area you will find maple leaves turning red. Highlighted by the blue sky and white clouds, the leaves make a mesmerizing scene.

Huang Yuan-ming, a local elementary school teacher and an experienced nature photographer, said the leaves of oliver maple trees have turned red between 91.5k and 97k of the local highway by now. Leaves are falling, and the section from 93k to 96k boasts the most impressive maple scene. To pick the most beautiful oliver maple leaves, however, go to 95.5-96k. The gorgeous dark red leaves there are featured by deep, clear vines, and serve as great bookmarks. Taiwan trident maple trees can also be found between 88k and 91.5k. The yellow Taiwan trident maple trees have begun to shed leaves, while the red type is just starting to turn red. The teacher-photographer noted that maple leaves can look splendid and crystal clear with backlighting, but with front-lighting they also express a kind of understated charm.

In the Alishan Forest Recreation Area, only 70% of the oliver maple trees have turned red along the wooded trails by the Alishan Hotel. Those at the Ciyun Temple have not turned red, but the ginko trees have turned gorgeously golden. The Taiwan red maples along the Tashan Hiking Trail, Duigaoyue Hiking Trail and Mienyu Railway, as well as in the Ogasawara Hill, are expected to turn red by late November.

More visitors are coming to Alishan in winter to appreciate maples. Liao Ching-tai, owner of the Wenshan Hotel, said the otherwise low season is becoming popular thanks to the press and bloggers. Just over the last two weeks, visitors have increased by a third than usual. Guests come to his counter to ask about maple information. Liao expects the leaves to turn red by early December in the Alishan Forest Recreation Area.

Tseng Han-zhou, head of the Alishan National Scenic Area Administration, said there are a few maple trees around Leye Village, Alishan Township. But those trees mostly just shed leaves once the leaves turn yellow. The Administration planted Japanese maple trees in Xinding, Fanlu Township a few years ago. Xiding is expected to become a new maple-watching spot once the trees grow big.

Source: The Liberty Times
Chinese article written by journalist Lin Yi-chang