Check out the fall colors

Bright displays of color were popping throughout the area neighborhoods last week.  -Ogden Reporter photo

Fall is often one of the best times in Iowa, with warm days and cool nights, low humidity, very few insects and the brilliant autumn colors of our trees. Peak fall colors in Central Iowa typically occur the first through the third week of October. But, just what causes the splashes of color associated with the autumn season.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources can explain.


Fall color facts

There is much speculation and some folklore associated with the spectacular color changes we generally see in the autumn in our hardwood forests. One “theory” has to do with warm sunny days and cool nights. Another is based on the changes in the length of the days as fall approaches. Some say it is related to soil acidity or a tree’s location on the slope. Others that it is related to frost, or maybe, the existence of wood elves. All these ideas, except the latter, are true to some extent. A common misconception about leaf change is that the leaves are dying. The development of fall colors is an active process and trees must be alive to undergo the change in color and to drop their leaves. Trees which are killed during the growing season do not undergo color change, their leaves simply dry up and do not fall from the tree.

Read more in the Oct. 24 issue of The Ogden Reporter.