Area Fall Colors Continue to Shine Locally

Plenty of fall color is lingering in northeast Iowa. Fall color will be at its peak in central Iowa this week.

Urban maple is showing a few brighter reds and oranges in southeast Iowa. Hard maple is at peak color in the urban landscapes in south-central Iowa.

Warm nights have slowed color changes in west-central and southwest Iowa. Yellows are just starting to appear on our bottomlands in the Missouri River Corridor.

Fall Color Report


Report Date Area Description of Fall Color Est. Peak Viewing
10/18/2021 NE Iowa This year’s extended fall color season has been atypical. Many trees still have green leaves, which would have fallen by now most years. Day length and cooler temperatures are major cues signaling leaf drop. There probably hasn’t been enough accumulation of cooler weather to trigger the typical senescence process. Plenty of fall color is still lingering in northeast Iowa. The oak trees are just starting to turn colors. Mid-October
10/15/2021 NC and NW Iowa Ash and walnut trees are dropping their leaves. The oaks are still green. Silver maple, grape vine, and some cottonwoods are starting to change to a yellow tint. The maples are getting close to being fully red. There are not many vibrant colors, but if you look across the landscape there will be one or two that pop out. Mid-October
10/15/2021 Central Iowa Fall color will be at its peak in central Iowa this week.  Sugar maples and oaks are turning orange and red. Black maple, ash, hickory, and poplar are yellow right now. Hackberry and others are lime green.  White pines have bright yellow interior needles. There are still nice maroon & burgundy colors from roadside shrubs and bright red Virginia creeper vines on trees. Oct. 9-17
10/14/2021 SE Iowa The landscape view in SE Iowa is still mostly green.  Some yellow/brown are showing up in landscapes with hickory, elm, cottonwood, and sugar maple.  White ash is showing some purple.  Urban maple is showing a few brighter reds and oranges.  Sumac, Virginia creeper, and poison ivy are showing some reds.  Oak is still mostly green. Oct. 20-27
10/15/2021 SCentral Iowa There is nice color along field edges, river bottoms, and woodland edges.  Sumac and ivy are bright red, walnut and cottonwood are yellow and falling, and native grasses and forbs are showing muted tones of gold, purple, and bronze.  Upland landscapes where oak dominate are still mostly green, but there are pops of color with shagbark hickory turning bronze and declining ash turning yellow.  Hard maple is at peak color in the urban landscapes. Late October
10/18/2021 WC and SW Iowa Nights are still warm which has slowed color changes. Strong winds last week removed many of the reds and pinks seed on shrubs. Yellows are just starting to appear on our bottomlands in the Missouri River Corridor.  Our oaks don’t appear to be showing any color yet, but likely should by the end of the week.
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