Fall in the foothills rocks. These trees are Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), The sassafras tree is native in Eastern North America from Maine to Ontario and Michigan then as far South as Florida and Texas. Tea, dye, lumber, and fuel are made from the outer bark and roots. The roots are also used to flavor soups and stews. Oil from this tree is also used in perfumes, soaps, lotions, and to flavor medicine.
When I was first made aware of these trees I had a hard time identifying them. They are not listed in Sunset's Western Garden Book. They are very hard to propagate, which is why they are impossible to find in almost any garden center.
These pics are of trees growing at Marshall Rd. and Empire Cr. about a 1/4 mile south of Lower Main St. in Georgetown. In about a week or two they will be about the brightest fall color trees you have ever seen. I'll try to post some pics of them when they are in full color.