Fall color continues to increase this week especially in the north. Much of central Minnesota to northern Wisconsin is now enjoying high color conditions and should peak by this weekend. Reports from my family in northern Wisconsin where I’m from say fall color is good in that area this year. Closer to home northern Iowa is now seeing moderate color mostly in early to mid changing trees. The southern two-thirds of Iowa and nearby states are still seeing low color conditions at this time.
Around the Des Moines area fall color this year unfortunately has not been at all great so far and many have taken notice to this. Most of the canopy at this remains green and I would say 30% of the trees have turned so far in this area. Typically right around this time Early turners such as Ash turn nice shades of yellow and purple but this year many are going from green right to brown or are dropping leaves with only a dirty yellow. The cause of our lack of nice color so far is the very wet conditions we had this past spring and summer and lack of stable cool nights yet this fall. We’ve just been up and down so far in the temperature department. We really need some nice cool nights in the 30s and 40s and the color would really start to glow. It appears like we will see that this week. I will say there is some decent color in a few Maple species right now but areas of nice color are rare and hard to find. I also noticed some burning bushes are starting to turn red as well, but the most common color you can find right now is yellow or brownish and some rare orange and red. I estimate color will really start to pick up in the Des Moines area this week and peak should occur around the 26th to 28th of October.