Cooler temperatures have started color development in Arboretum collections and natural areas. The greens of summer have taken on a lighter color with some early yellows and reds showing on redbuds and sumacs. Pines are starting to show yellow as their normal third year needle drop begins.
Collections plants are showing lighter-greens to yellow-greens with plants in more stressful sites developing brighter fall colors. Plants in the visitor center parking lot medians, and some in full sun away from irrigated areas are turning yellows and reds: hackberry (yellow), redbud (yellow), tree lilac (yellow), coffeetree (yellow), and some Freeman maples (yellows and reds) are showing fall colors. The crabapple collections are beginning to show some fall fruit colors as their leaves drop.
In collections and landscapes color is developing on linden (yellow), redbud (yellow), hickory (yellow), walnut (yellow), flowering dogwood (reddish-purple), and some sumac (red). The woodland canopy trees are lightening with sugar maples in the far east woods showing some yellows and hints of orange in their sun lite tops. The ground layer has finished its fall bloom season and is starting to turn yellow. The prairie is a good place to visit with late gentians, asters, and grasses developing fall colors.
Fall is upon us. Colors are developing, but how intense and how long they will last is all up to the weather ahead of us. Get out and enjoy nature!
Fall Color Festival
Celebrate the most brilliant season at the Arboretum with activities throughout October. Learn more >