PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The peak of fall is here and the clock is ticking to enjoy Portland’s most photographed tree in the Portland Japanese Garden.

“The Tree” as it’s referred to in the garden, is putting on its grand display of color this week. The extent of how long the leaves will last is up to Mother Nature as Oregon and Washington continue to battle with an atmospheric river this week.

Track the fall foliage in the Portland Japanese Garden HERE

The Portland Japanese Garden has always been known for its Japanese Maple trees, but one tree in particular sprung to fame in 2012 thanks to a local photographer winning the National Geographic photo contest.

“I think this one in particular gets more attention because around 2012 a local physician took a picture of it and submitted it to National Geographic and won an award. So, I think that’s helped inspire other photographers to come take their own photos of it. As well as anyone who likes having some beautiful photos on their phone,” said Will Lerner, Communications Specialist for the Portland Japanese Garden.

  • Peak fall foliage seen in the Portland Japanese Garden for the first week in November as seen by KOIN 6 Meteorologist Josh Cozart on November 1, 2023

This particular lace-leaf Japanese maple is also so popular in the garden because of its placement.

“The tree is right near the pathway. So, people can definitely get close to it. Take photos underneath its canopy and kind of take it in a way that’s a little more intimate than maybe some of our other trees,” said Lerner.

While the beauty is at its peak now, the leaves won’t last forever. Stronger winds and heavy rain could bring some leaves into the garden sooner than expected.

“We definitely encourage people to come as soon as they see its peak fall so that way they can enjoy the colors while they’re here,” said Lerner.

The Portland Japanese Garden isn’t the only location seeing fall foliage. Share your leaf-peeping photos with us here.