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Fall Colors Report: Area Nearing Peak Season

Fall colors are hitting their peak this week in many parts of the state. The area is showing a mix of colors from the summer greens to maple trees turning red. There’s still time for a fall hike, bike ride or scenic drive to see the gorgeous colors.

Recent warmer weather has extended the fall color show for another week in northeast Iowa. All species are turning color except for the oaks.

Fall colors turned a corner this week in central Iowa with lots more brilliant yellows and many maples starting to turn orange and red.

Poison ivy, dogwood, white ash, and sumac are showing reds and a little purple. Woodland edges and field edges are still full of color – red ivy and sumac, purple dogwood, and beautiful asters and goldenrod flowering.

Report Date Area Description of Fall Color Est. Peak Viewing
10/11/2021 NE Iowa Peak fall color is happening right now in Northeast Iowa.  All species are turning color except for the oaks.  Recent warmer weather appears to have extended the fall color show for another week. Oct. 10-15
10/1/2021 NC and NW Iowa The tree canopies show a mix of green, yellow, orange and now red as the maples are starting to change.  Sumac, virginia creeper, and poison ivy can be identified by their brilliant red to reddish purple color. Big bluestem is a rainbow of colors and asters are coloring the prairies with purples and whites. Early October
10/8/2021 Central Iowa Fall colors turned a corner this week in central Iowa with lots more brilliant yellows dotting the landscape and many maples beginning to turn orange and red.  Most of the oaks are still green but forest canopies have turned a pale green/yellow as the season goes on.  Drought has impacted many trees and will lessen some of this year’s colors, but overall it should still be a good show. Oct. 9-17
10/11/2021 SE Iowa The landscape view in SE Iowa is still mostly green.  Hickory and urban maple are showing some colors.  Poison ivy, dogwood, white ash, and sumac are showing reds and a little purple.  Cottonwood, walnut, silver maple, and elm are starting to show some yellow/brown. Oct. 20-27
10/8/2021 S Central Iowa Bottomland species such as walnut and cottonwood are turning and falling.  Woodland edges and field edges are still full of color – red ivy and sumac, purple dogwood, and beautiful asters and goldenrod flowering.  Hard maple are turning in town, colors are bright but leaves are falling quickly due to dry conditions.  The oak are still mostly green but the upland landscape is dotted with color from the golden/bronze hickory. Mid to late October
10/11/2021 WC and SW Iowa The first push of early spring colors has faded and we are beginning to see the first shades of yellow in the forest. Bottomland cottonwoods and silver maples are starting to turn. Ash and hickory are starting to show some yellow. Oaks should be starting to change shortly. Oct. 20-27
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