People & Places

Identify the trees you see in Iowa's fall color displays

A maple leaf is covered in raindrops at Pinicon Ridge State Park near Central City on Sunday, October 12 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
A maple leaf is covered in raindrops at Pinicon Ridge State Park near Central City on Sunday, October 12 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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ASH: Green ash leaves turn yellow, but white ash has a purplish cast. The leaves fall after those of walnut trees, but earlier than those of oaks and maples.

BUR OAK: Buff to yellow colors predominate in bur oaks. The leaves remain on the tree and turn brown before falling.

ELM: Elm leaves turn various shades of yellow, with some turning brown before falling, others falling while still yellow.

HICKORY: Leaves turn yellow on hickory trees, then brown before falling.

MAPLE (SOFT): The leaves of soft (silver) maples turn yellow but do not turn brown before falling.

MAPLE (HARD): Brilliant flame red hues are the signature of hard maple leaves. The red pigmentation of some leaves breaks down before falling.

OAK (RED): The red oaks have brilliant red leaves in fall, though the color is probably not as intense as that of some hard maples.

OAK (WHITE): White oaks have a more subdued purple fall leaf color. The leaves then turn brown and often stay on the tree until new leaves begin to grow in the spring.

Source: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

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