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Fall Colors Starting to Pop!

Enjoy Iowa’s beautiful weather and fall colors this weekend. Fall colors appear more vibrant this year, possibly due to the recent crisp weather.

Cottonwood, hackberry, elm, basswood and walnut are turning yellow in northeast Iowa. The hillsides have splashes of color mostly from sugar maples.

Yellows and oranges mixed with green dot the landscape in north central and northwest Iowa. Cottonwoods are vibrant. Silver maples are just starting to lighten in color.

Major river valleys in central Iowa like the Des Moines, Boone, and Iowa rivers are at 20-25 percent color change. More maples are turning red and yellow.

White ash and dogwood are showing a little bit of purple in southeast Iowa. Some urban maples are starting to show a little red and orange.

Most shrubs will be at peak color, which provide most of our reds in west central and southwest Iowa. Fall prairie flowers are still showy this week to bring vivid colors to your prairie hikes.

Enjoy a fall drive and take in all the beautiful colors!

Fall Color Report

 

Report Date Area Description of Fall Color Est. Peak Viewing
10/3/2022 NE Iowa The Fall color season is progressing nicely. Cottonwood, hackberry, elm, basswood and walnut are turning yellow. Virginia creeper and sumac are turning red and orange. The hillsides have splashes of color mostly from sugar maples. Fall colors appear more vibrant this year possibly due to the recent crisp, fall-like weather. Oct. 8-15
10/3/2022 NC and NW Iowa Yellows and oranges mixed with green dot the landscape. Ash, cottonwood, walnut, and honey locust are showing more yellows. Cottonwoods are vibrant.  Silver maples are just starting to lighten in color. Amur maples, sumac, and virginia creeper vines are fully red. Dogwoods are showing some purple or red. Oct. 8-15
10/3/2022 Central Iowa Ash, walnut, cottonwood, and bur oaks are all yellow.  Roadside sumac are bright red along with virginia creeper vines. More maples are turning red and yellow now. Poison ivy has turned all shades of yellow, orange, and red. Major river valleys like the Des Moines, Boone, and Iowa rivers are at 20-25% color change.  The weather this past 10 days has been excellent for promoting good colors. Oct. 15-23
9/23/2022 SE Iowa Most of the landscape is still green. Elm, walnut, ash and cottonwood are starting to show a tinge of yellow. White ash and dogwood are showing a little bit of purple. Some urban maples are just starting to show a little red and orange. Oct. 20
10/5/2022 SCentral Iowa Much of the landscape is still green. Drought stress is evident across the area. Sumacs, Virginia creeper and ivy vines are bright red. Early changing walnuts are nearly done. A few swamp white oaks are starting to show yellow. Maples are just starting to change to burgundy and oranges. 3rd week of October
10/3/2022 WC and SW Iowa Expect to see some yellow and some reds this week. Most shrubs will be at peak color, which provide most of our reds. Ash, cottonwood and walnuts are changing or will change very soon with lots of yellow. Fall prairie flowers are still showy this week to bring vivid colors to your prairie hikes. 3rd week of October
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