Fall color has arrived. This upcoming week looks to be the best time to visit our collections and natural areas for the fall color display. While the colors are more to the yellow side than orange and red, there is still plenty of color out there, and more developing. The cooler weather has slowed color development, but held colors longer. This year, the maples and oaks are in color at the same time, rather than the maples developing prior to the oaks.
Plants in more stressful sites like parking lot medians have developed colors faster, and have started to thin out in their more exposed tops. The Visitor Center and Thornhill parking lots still have a nice display of fall colors: hackberry (yellow), redbud (yellows thinning), tree lilac (yellow), coffeetree (yellow), Miyabe maples (yellow), maples (yellows, oranges, and reds), and sumacs (reds) are showing good fall colors.
In collections, linden (yellow), redbud (yellow), hickory (yellow and gold), walnut (yellow), flowering dogwood (reds), sumac (red), Miyabe maple (yellow), bur oak (yellowish-brown), hackberry (yellow), white oak (purplish-tan), cork tree (yellow), and catalpa (yellow) are in good fall color. The Crabapple Collections on the east and west sides are showing good red fall fruit colors. The red maple north of the road near P6 is showing good fall color, as is the sugar maple to the south of P14.
In the Arboretum's woodlands, the sugar maples are turning. The colors are mostly yellows with some highlights of light orange.
Parking lots to stop and enjoy the views are: P2 (Northern Illinois/Meadow Lake), P3 (Frost Hill view), P5 (Midwest oaks and the Magnolia Collection), P7 & P8 (Maple and Oak collections, P8 to P16 (native woodlands and Appalachian Collection), P14 (Maple and Beech collections), P17 (China), P18 (cork trees and sumacs), P19 (west side crabapples and native oaks), P21 (Thornhill, Fragrance Garden, and Joy Path), P27 & P28 (Lake Marmo and Sterling Pond), P29 (Prairie and Sterling Pond), and P31 (birch and nut trees).
The colors seen will change with time, weather and with different light levels, so visit early and visit often to watch color change on favorite plants and collections.