Weather impacting early fall leaf color

Des Moines, Iowa – Unseasonably warm weather has held off the cool fall days in Iowa and that’s impacting the transition of some trees to their fall leaf colors.  State Forester Jeff Goerndt says dry weather has also had an impact on the changing of leaf colors.

He says the cool fall days are important to the process.

Goerndt says it is early for central and southern Iowa and the colors should improve as we move deeper into fall.

He lives in Chariton in the south-central part of the state and says northeast Iowa has a larger variety of trees and usually has some of the best leaf color in the state. And northeast Iowa has had more rain this year too, which should help the color. He says the Loess Hills corridor had some good leaf color. Goerndt says the drought conditions in the southern part of the state could have a longer term impact on trees beyond impacting leaf color.

The D-N-R provides a weekly fall color report each Monday afternoon. Updates are available by calling the D-N-R fall color hotline at 515-233-4110 and online at


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