Fall Color Report

 

Report Date Area Description of Fall Color Est. Peak Viewing
11/05/2021 NE Iowa

The fall color season is winding down in far northeast Iowa. There is still some great fall color in the hills immediately adjacent to the Mississippi River. As you go inland from the river, most of the color is coming from scattered groups of oak trees with their shades of brown, orange, red, yellow and bronze. 

Mid-October
11/01/2021 NC and NW Iowa

More trees have lost their leaves, but plenty are still showing colors. Red oaks and maples are a nice red. Shades of yellow are still prominent. Some trees are just starting to change and have green and yellow leaves, giving them a lime look. In areas where the trees are bare, the shrubs underneath are green.

Mid-October
11/01/2021 Central Iowa

Colors are still good in central Iowa as of the first of November.  Oaks and maples are fully red. Many cottonwood and hickory trees are still bright yellow.  There are still some green leaves as well.  This year’s colors have extended late into the season, but this week’s hard frosts will hasten leaf drop and possibly bring a quick downturn in peak colors before next weekend.   

Oct. 20-27
11/08/2021 SE Iowa

The landscape view in SE Iowa is changing fairly rapidly, but the colors are still showing really nice. Urban maples are showing a lot of different colors.  Peak season is now, but fading in SE Iowa.

Oct. 27-Nov. 8
11/05/2021 SCentral Iowa

The fall color is hanging on and still looking beautiful in south central Iowa.  Oak trees are variations of gold, bronze, purple, rust, and red.  Some bottomland areas are losing leaves as cottonwood, silver maple, and walnut are finishing up.  Forest edges still have some bright red and purple from ivy, sumac, and dogwood, but those are starting to drop leaves.  Hard maple in urban areas are bright red and orange.  Upland oak landscapes are where to see the best color - take a drive or hike soon to experience it.

Late October-Early November
11/08/2021 WC and SW Iowa

Some pockets of color still can be found making the drives still scenic. Many trees have lost their leaves and the weather this week will continue that trend.

Last week of October

 

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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


Ash: 
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.

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

Hickory: 
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

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Printable Fall Colors State of Iowa Map