The peak viewing time for Iowa’s autumn colors may arrive a bit early this year. Paul Tauke, a forestry supervisor at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says the leaves usually peak in northern Iowa during the first ten days of October, but he expects them to be in blazing glory the last week in September. Tauke says cooler temperatures at night are part of the reason. The shortening length of days is also a big influence on the leaf color. As day length changes, he says there’s a chemical transformation within the tree that creates a barrier between the leaf and the branch, cutting off the chlorophyll which causes the color to shift from green to brown, red, yellow and orange. Tauke says most leaf-watchers are drawn to the Northeast region of Iowa. He says that’s because there’re more maple trees in that area of the state.For fall foliage updates, call the D-N-R’s hotline at (515) 233-4110 or go to the website “traveliowa.com”.
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