Fall color is really being accelerated this week after last weeks cold snap and the past warm-up. North and northeastern Iowa which is famous for it’s fall color is experiencing high color conditions and they are just about to peak. Peak fall color is expected to hit this upcoming weekend in north Iowa including Spencer, Emmetsburg, Charles City, Mason City over towards Decorah and Waterloo. In this region color is widespread and abundant. Father south across central and southern Iowa, Moderate colors are being reported, including Omaha, Red Oak, Newton, Osceola and Iowa City.
Here in Des Moines color is currently at moderate stage with about 45% of trees having turned. In areas with earlier changing trees color is pretty good, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a stellar year for fall color as there is more yellows and less oranges and reds. I’ve seen Honey Locust, Maples, Hickories, Ash and even some Swamp Oaks turning colors of yellowish with hints of reds and orange. Along roadsides, Sumac, Dogwood, Elms, Black Walnut are still nice shades ranging from yellow to burgundy reds. Fall color in established neighborhoods seems to be nicer than in the rural areas, with the main reason for this being there is higher abundance of maples and other shrubs like Burning Bush in town. Even with all these trees changing there are still quite a few species in the mid to late color stage not turning much at all so progress is still needed before we hit peak. I estimate fall color will peak some time between the 27th to November 5th for areas along and south of I-80.