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Fall Color Report

This is the last fall color report of the season.


Report Date Area Description of Fall Color Est. Peak Viewing
10/28/2022 NE Iowa

 This year’s fall colors were the most vibrant in many years! The forested landscape around northeast Iowa is mostly bare now with a few scattered oak trees clinging to some leaves.

Oct. 8-15
10/31/2022 NC and NW Iowa

Most leaves have fallen. Trees that still have leaves are dull in color after the recent cold weather. Some urban maples are still giving off shades of reds. Get outside for a walk - understory plants are still showing colors. Gooseberries are maroon to orange shades and black raspberries are showing nice yellows. Invasive species like buckthorn and honeysuckle are still green for easy identification.

Oct. 7-16
10/31/2022 Central Iowa

The peak is over, but some colors still remain. Oaks are showing an array of reds and browns, and some serviceberry are still orange.

Oct. 15-23
10/31/2022 SE Iowa

It's the last week of decent fall colors. Many species have completely dropped their leaves; oaks have mostly brown leaves. Find hints of yellow; invasive species are showing green.  If you haven’t viewed the fall colors in SE Iowa, take a scenic drive or hike this week.

Oct. 20
10/31/2022 SCentral Iowa

Very few fall colors remain, except for oak species. Oaks are still showing some deep red, but most are brown. Invasive species are showing yellow in the understory, but will be gone in the next few weeks.

3rd week of October

10/24/2022 WC and SW Iowa

The central Loess Hills area fall color show is done. Take a drive through the southern Loess Hills to experience the beauty of deep red/brown red oaks. A little bit of yellow is still hanging on.

3rd 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

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