It is that time of year once again! This is the first fall color report of the 2016 season but there really isn’t much to report, as least in Iowa. A warm late-summer time frame and plentiful summer rains seems to be putting a delay on fall colors across the state. Northern Iowa is reporting “low” color in most areas. This includes Mason City, Estherville, Decorah and Storm Lake southward to cities like Denison, Ames, Waterloo and Iowa Falls. Here earlier turning trees like Ash even a few Maples have color. Typical fall color in northern Iowa is the 1st to 2nd weeks of October so you can expect color to really pop in these areas shortly. To find more substantial color now, you have to go to northern Wisconsin. Moderate color is already being reported north around Eau Claire and north of Twin Cities, Minnesota.
Here is the current fall color here in south-central Iowa, or I should say the lack of. I have seen a few Ash turning a bit yellow and some wild Dogwood starting to turn maroon but other then these few species most of the trees here and around Des Moines remain a very summer-like green. Black Walnuts and some Ash species are even just dropping leaves without turning a color due to a fungal disease that regularly effects the leaves of those tree types. There is a bit more color with trees located in lowland river bottom areas but it’s mostly just yellows and not that impressive. I anticipate color should really start to show up around here over the next week so the next fall color report should be more exciting in this area. Typical peak fall color around Des Moines and south Iowa is around Halloween into November.