Iowa's fall colors are on display

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa's fall color display is already underway.

"What really triggers fall color is day length, and when the nights get long enough. There's a chemical inside the leaf that triggers dormancy, and that's when our fall color change starts" says Iowa State Forester Jeff Goerndt.

He says Iowa's statewide drought should actually make tree colors more vibrant this fall.

"During hotter, drier weather during the summer the sugars tend to build up in the leaf and create more red pigments. Once the leaf starts to change, those red pigments come through" Goerndt says.

If you're looking for the best fall color as the trees change in Iowa...

"The best is going to be up in the northeast part of the state where we have a lot of sugar maples--those are going to give you the brightest and most consistent color. We're already starting to get a lot of yellows up in that area" he says.

Goerndt also says there are parts of Central and Eastern Iowa where there simply won't be as much fall color after the August derecho took out scores of trees.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resource says peak color in the northern third of the state in the last week of September through the second week of October. In the middle third, the peak will happen in the first through third weeks of October. In the southern third, it will happen in the second through the fourth weeks of October.

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