Fall Colors, Statewide Conditions: See report below or call 515-233-4110
Report Date Area Description of Fall Color, Oct 29, 2018 [Final Report] Est. Peak Viewing
10/25/18 NE Iowa Pretty much everything has dropped their leaves except the Oaks. If you locate hills with mature oaks as the predominant tree species there is still nice bronze, darker red and yellow for the viewing. Outside of the oaks there is little left in the area. Oct 13
10/26/18 NC and NW Iowa The peak has passed and many of the leaves are already down. Some of the oaks are still turning, so areas with good oak stands still have some color. Around Oct 12
10/29/18 Central Iowa This area hit the peak last week. The early turning species such as walnut and ash have lost their leaves. Many bur oaks have also lost their leaves. The other Oaks are either at peak or just past the peak and starting to fade. Silver and Sugar Maples are either at peak or losing leaves. This week will be the last week to see much color. It will be very diminished after that. 3rd wk of Oct
10/26/18 SE Iowa Peak season is in effect right now and at least through the last week of October. There are reds, yellows, browns, and still some green from the oaks. Colors will be fading fast after this week across the landscape. Enjoy while you can! Oct 20
10/26/18 SCentral Iowa Beautiful fall color happening right now! Hard maples in town are bright yellows, oranges, and reds. The red oaks are ranging from deep rusty reds to bright bronzy-orange. White oaks are reddish purple. Not much color on bur oak this year. Bottomland and edge species including walnut and ash are losing leaves quickly. Great overall landscape color with the oaks changing now. Come see it! 2nd-3rd wk of Oct
10/29/18 WC and SW Iowa This area is past its peak but there is still some color to see. Bur Oaks are defoliated and other oaks are hanging onto their leaves better, but are declining and will be dropping their leaves shortly. Many sugar maples are losing their bright orange leaves, while others are very colorful. This will be the last week to see much color, so hurry outside before it’s all gone. 2nd-3rd wk of Oct
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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

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