Fall Color Reports


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Northern Illinois

Second week of October


  • Soybeans are starting to yellow, and the corn is starting to brown.
  • Soybean field leaves are falling off the stems, and we’re starting to see some harvesting of corn. 
  • Sumac is turning red along the roadsides.
  • Sugar maple is turning red to orange.
  • Black walnut, boxelder and cottonwood are yellowing.
  • The hackberry, walnut and silver maple trees are starting to yellow up.
  • The sunburst locust trees in the urban areas are yellowing brightly, as well. 


  • The region really hasn’t had the temperatures to trigger large-scale color yet.
  • Cottonwoods are yellowing and beginning to fall.
  • Spotty color can be seen in the sumac.
  • Everything else is still very green in the McHenry County area.
  • In the Will County area, splashes of inconsistent color continue to brighten up the canopy district-wide.
  • Isolated reds and golds of sugar maple illuminate pockets of deep-shaded woods and forest edges.
  • Sporadic coloration of black oaks - which are speckled with yellows and tawny-brown, while other oaks of the Red Oak group remain mostly green.
  • The white oaks remain green, although heavy acorn production is adding to texture and beauty.
  • Walnuts, after strong winds downed many leaves, remain a sparse yellowish-green.
  • Trumpet creeper vine is a beautiful purplish-red in many places within the woods.
  • Sassafras is offering reddish hues with underlying gold.
  • Silver maple is green-gold in pockets.
  • Red mulberry is pale yellowish-green.
  • Grey dogwood has a purplish caste to the leaves in pockets.
  • Witch-hazel is sporadically gold.
  • Hazelnut is yellowing up nicely.
  • Paw paw in the understory is turning a rich yellow.
  • Hawthorne species are turning reddish-brown in places.
  • Black cherry is sharing its glory with warm reds and yellows.
  • Honey locust retains a robe of yellowish green where leaves remain after strong winds and heavy rain.

Show us your leaves! #ENJOYILLINOIS

Northern Illinois

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Central Illinois

Late October


  • There are pockets of some color in silver maple and walnut, but it’s still early.

Central East

  • Sumac, poison ivy and Virginia creeper are beginning to change for the fall. Native asters like New England Aster, Skyblue Aster and Heath Aster are in full bloom as well as the golden rods, all of which are incredibly important for our native pollinators. 
  • Yellows are starting to show up on some trees in Champaign County area. We also see some brighter red and orange color flagging. Fall color is expected to really start to liven up after a few days of cool evening temperatures if the days stay sunny. If the days are cloudy, fall colors will be more muted. The Dogwood tree is showing more dried-up leaves than it shows in color change from last week.
  • This week in the Coles County area we are beginning to see light shades of yellow coming from black walnut, cottonwood and the occasional green ash that remain. There are some very early signs of reddish orange in a few fence rows from sassafras that are likely stressed and scattered deep reds on some poison ivy and Virginia creeper vines. 

Central West

(Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Macoupin, Pike and Scott counties) 

  • Small patches of Sumac and isolated, individual Sassafras, Dogwood and Virginia Creeper vines are starting to redden.
  • Just a hint of fall color can be seen on early leaf-shedding tree species (Walnut:  yellow; Buckeye: yellow/orange) and sun-drenched, bottomland tree species (Cottonwood, Silver Maple, Boxelder, Hackberry, etc.: yellow; Sycamore: orange).
  • Generally speaking, 80-85% of foliage is still green.

Show us your leaves! #ENJOYILLINOIS

Central Illinois

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Southern Illinois

End of October


  • Still mainly green leaves in Clinton County. Many of the ash are turning yellow. Unfortunately, that is because of the effects of Emerald Ash Borer and not color change.
  • Trees in southwest Illinois are just beginning to turn to varying hues of yellow. Very few shades of brown or red are visible in the foliage. Some leaves are starting to drop; tree species such as black walnut tend to drop early in the season. This also may be because of the hot and dry weather we’ve had.
  • Overall, the fall colors are minimal and yet to peak. Yellows are leading the show.


  • Fall colors appear to be advancing early this year, most likely due to drought.
  • While most trees do remain green, bright flashes of red can be seen on some sumac, blackgums and sweetgums.
  • Buckeyes, as usual, are losing their leaves early. Walnuts will follow soon.
  • Lower leaves of ash trees can be seen transitioning to yellow and falling.

Show us your leaves! #ENJOYILLINOIS

Southern Illinois