Fall Colors, Statewide Conditions: See report below or call 515-233-4110
Report Date Area Description of Fall Color - Oct 15, 2018 Report Est. Peak Viewing
10/11/18 NE Iowa The Maples are very near if not at their peak with lots of yellow and orange. The Bitternut hickory are also providing a lot of bright yellow. The Oaks have really progressed in the last week and are adding yellow, bronze, and red to the mix. Some of the Aspen stands in the area are still holding on well to their bright yellow leaves. I believe the next three to five days will be the peak of the fall colors here. Oct 13
10/15/18 NC and NW Iowa I think we have hit the peak for the season. There are still many oaks to turn yet but the wind and snow have taken many of the leaves down. Get out this week if you can! Around Oct 12
10/08/18 Central Iowa There is still quite a bit of green but there are also more colors starting to show. Sumac, dogwoods, virginia creeper are bright red. Walnuts, elms, green ash, locust are showing more yellows but many ash and walnuts are losing leaves. Hickory and oak trees are also starting to show more color. Many maples are turning orange and red. 3rd wk of Oct
10/15/18 SE Iowa Cottonwood, walnut, green ash, elm, honey locust, hickory, etc showing great yellow color. White ash is showing good purple color but fading a little. Sumac and various varieties of maple are starting to show reds and oranges. Still a lot of green in the wooded landscape. Should see some major changes toward the end of this week. Oct 20
10/12/18 SCentral Iowa Cottonwood, elm, green ash, bitternut hickory, and walnut in the bottomlands and edges have vibrant yellows and golds; these species are starting to drop leaves. White ash has beautiful, deep purple color but is starting to drop leaves as well. Hickory have beautiful golden yellow color. Hard maple in town are turning variations of orange and red. Oak species are starting to turn so we are getting close to peak. There is nice color out there! 2nd-3rd wk of Oct
10/15/18 WC and SW Iowa The oaks have begun to change! Still plenty of reds and orange with sumac and woody tree vines. Ash as just about finished but ironwood, hackberry and hickory are taking their place. This should be a very good week for color! 2nd-3rd wk of Oct
  Sign up for the Fall Colors Report
Fall Tree Color Information

Fall is often one of the best times in Iowa, with warm days and cool nights, low humidity, very few insects  and the brilliant autumn colors of our trees.

Every year, thousands of Iowans and visitors flock to the countryside to view nature's colorful display of red, orange, yellow and purple leaves.

Looking for ways to enjoy Iowa's fall color? Visit Iowa Tourism.

Fall Color - Legend and Facts

Green ash leaves turn yellow, but white ash has a purplish cast. The leaves fall after those of walnut trees, but earlier than  those of oaks and maples.

Elm leaves turn various shades of yellow with some turning brown before falling, others falling while still yellow.

Leaves turn yellow on hickory trees, then brown before falling.

Maple (Soft): 
The leaves of soft (silver) maples turn yellow but do not turn brown before falling.

Maple (Hard): 
Brilliant flame red hues are the signature of hard maple leaves. The red pigmentation of some leaves breaks down before falling.

Bur Oak: 
Buff to yellow colors predominate in bur oaks. The leaves remain on the tree and turn brown before falling.

Oak (Red): 
The red oaks have brilliant red leaves in fall though the color is probably not as intense as that of some hard maples.

Oak (White): 
White oaks have a more subdued purple fall leaf color. The leaves then turn brown and often stay on the tree until new leaves begin to grow in the spring.

When do colors peak?

Peak fall color occurs in northeast Iowa, on average, during  the weekend closest to October 10.

Typically, peak fall color occurs progressively later the farther south you go in Iowa. Perhaps the most important thing about fall color is having the time to enjoy it.

Fall Color Map


Printable Fall Colors State of Iowa Map