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Final Fall Color Report for Fall 2019

Welcome to the Fall Color Report for November 4th, 2019. Some Oaks are still offering a glimpse of color, however the splendid colors of the autumn season has mostly come and gone throughout the state. Please check back with us next season for weekly color updates.

Report Date Area Description of Fall Color Est. Peak Viewing
10/28/19 NE Iowa The fall color season is winding down here in Northeast Iowa. Recent freezing weather is hastening leaf drop. There is still some terrific fall color in places, especially along the Mississippi River where its warmer waters help moderate the cold temps. Inland from the Mississippi the oak trees are still providing some nice colors. Oct. 20th
10/28/19 NC and NW Iowa Black and sugar maple trees are very colorful and are near their peak. Many oaks are changing to yellow and orange colors. Dogwoods and sumac are still brilliant red. Leaf drop on certain trees just started in the last few days. Mid-October
Central Iowa There are still plenty of good fall colors hanging on out there in the maples and oaks, but I believe we are past the peak viewing. This week’s cold weather will probably put an abrupt end to the season. Oct 19
10/28/19    SE Iowa We are in peak viewing season in southeast Iowa right now. There will still be some good colors until this coming weekend, but the color and leaves is dwindling fast. Oct 20
SCentral Iowa The fall color is looking great! The oak is starting to turn. White ash is deep purple. Bottomland species such as walnut, silver maple, and hackberry are yellow and falling. Great color starting in the hard maples - oranges and reds. Hickory is golden yellow to deep rusty orange. Shrubs along forest edges are reds and purples. Peak is here as oak continues to change! Mid- Late October
10/28/19 WC and SW Iowa Our peak color occured last week. There are still areas that have good color along the Scenic Byways but the leaves are dropping quickly. Mid- 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