Fall Color Report

Welcome to Iowa's fall color report from the State Forest Nursery. This recording was made Monday, October 20, 2014.

For more information, contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Photos below do not always indicate current fall color status.



Photo taken October 6, 2014 - Big Paint Overlook

Report by Bruce Blair: This area is just past the peak of color. The fall colors have been impacted by recent high winds and rain. Most trees (ash, basswood, maple, elm, cherry, sumac, hackberry, cottonwood and walnut) have now shed their leaves. However, there is still plenty of color left from oaks, some maples and aspen. There will be some color left this weekend, but will be declining every day from now on.


Pinicon Ridge Park, Central City  Photo by Coby Somsen

Report by John Byrd: Even though there are a few scattered trees that are still green, it seems to be peak viewing time right now. The hickories have been changing quickly and there are a few red oaks showing some nice red color. Peak viewing time should continue all this week and this weekend.


Rock Falls Covered Bridge, Photo by Frank P.

Report by Joe Herring: The colors are near the peak right now and they are expected to last for the next 5-7 days. Red oaks are turning very pretty hues and the hickory and maple colors are still quite good in areas where the trees were sheltered from last week’s strong winds. Some white ash trees have also just begun to turn, but many ash and walnut in the woodland have lost their leaves. Dolliver State Park, Heery Woods and Pine Lake State Park all have fantastic color right now. 


Tama County

Report by George Warford: About a third to half of the red oaks and white oaks are showing their colors. Bur oaks are mostly brown. Hickories and black cherry are looking good, as are many of the white ash. This week and this coming weekend should still be lovely outside as this area is at its peak color overall. 


Lake Red Rock, Knoxville

Report by Jessica Flatt: Bottomland species such as cottonwood and silver maple are turning and falling. Shagbark Hickory is golden brown and butternut hickory if a nice bright yellow. Hard maples are quickly turning with vibrant color. Oaks are turning also. White Oak is muted but some red and pin oak are showing bright color. This area is at its peak color for the most part.


Glacial Trail Scenic Byway, Sioux Valley

Report by Joe Schwartz: Since the last few days have been bone dry, our colors are becoming brilliant, especially the yellows of cottonwood, silver maple, ash, hackberry and hickory. A good place to see great color is the Little Sioux River Valley with its red and black oaks. This area is starting to reach its peak color now. There will still be more oaks to change.


Preparation Canyon State Park, Moorhead

Report by Brent Olson: Fall colors will peak throughout this week into next weekend, with all the yellows, oranges and reds shining brightly on all species. The native prairies are golden, tan and brown hues. The winds last Friday, many leaves fell. Color spots will depend on wind speeds over the week. The species of hackberry, elm, ash, locust, sumac, dogwood and even bur oaks have changed color this year!

The State Forest Nursery is offering seedlings for fall and spring planting. If you would like to receive a brochure, please call the nursery at 800.865.2477. You may also view our brochure and order on-line at www.iowatreeplanting.com.