Illinois Fall Color Report

Enjoy Illinois presents the official Illinois Fall Color Report courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources. Discover the current state of foliage unfolding in every region of the state.

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Fall colors are really starting to pop throughout the state! Beautiful vistas are sporting spectaculars hues that can only mean autumn in Illinois. Be sure to check back to this blog each week throughout the season for updates on where to see the best colors—and, as always, browse EnjoyIllinois.com for the latest on fall festivals, attractions and events. Here’s what you can expect to see this week:

Updated 10/12/18

illinois MapRegions Great rivers Country 1

Northwest Illinois

In Jo Daviess, Carroll, Stephenson, Whiteside, Ogle, Lee Counties:

Fields: Crops are at various stages of ripening. Beans range from brownish/green/ yellow to brown; corn is brown (most fields are being harvested). 

Road sides: Generally green, especially where mowed. Notable colors are yellow and brownish yellow (goldenrod); notable shrubs are gray dogwood turning a grayish burgundy with white berries, sumac green with some red/burgundy and crimson (some lost leaves already). Poison Ivy is turning red. Trees are changing colors and leaves are beginning to fall. 

Woodlands: Some species are showing yellowing (boxelder, walnut, cottonwood, maple) and dropping leaves. Along the river, the maples are showing more yellow/red/green leaves. Fall colors are in full swing. 

Urban: Red maples are showing red, pale yellow and faint scarlet.

Quad cities region:

Roadsides: Yellows are gone- back to basic green and beige (dead grass). 

Fields: Harvest is progressing, leaving most crop fields beige and light brown.

Fence rows: Dogwoods are grayish burgundy and fading; what leaves remain are scarlet and the seed heads are dark red. 

Woodlands: Predominantly green with more yellowing- walnut leaves are yellow and brown and falling; green ash and hickory are yellowing; sugar maples are turning yellow and orangish yellow.  Poison ivy and Virginia creeper vines are still yellow, orangish yellow to pinkish burgundy.

Cities: Red maples are still turning yellow and orangish red; white ash are a mixture of yellow and pinkish purple; burning bushes are starting to turn scarlet.

West Central Illinois

It is really starting to look like fall in portions of western Illinois. Maples are showing more color daily - mostly yellow with some red/orange.  Hickories are golden and brown.  Ash are showing a lot of color - yellow and purple.  Sumac is close to full color with shades of crimson. Sassafras is showing a lot of color from yellow to orange to red.  Poison ivy and Virginia creeper are showing a lot of red.  Even the white pines are getting into the game with their fall needle shed starting. Beginning to see yellow needles.

Pike, Adams, Brown, Scott, Calhoun, Jersey, Macoupin, and Greene Counties: 

Creeper and Ivy vines, along with most groupings of sumac, are now actively showing fall colors (red, orange, etc.); the majority of sycamore and cottonwood are also actively turning (predominantly brown and yellow with sycamore showing some orange); isolated, individual sassafras, ash, dogwood, and sugar maple trees have turned (red, yellow, orange, gold, purple) - though the majority of these species remain predominantly green with only shade leaves starting to turn; shade leaves on walnut, hackberry, Osage orange, and catalpa are actively turning (yellow) - however, most foliage on these species remains green; with the exception of isolated, individual trees which are starting to show color, the great majority of oak and hickory species are still entirely green (area woodlands are 65% - 70% green at the present time).

 

illinois MapRegions Trails to Adventure 1

In the Marion County area, tree watchers are seeing yellowing and leaf drop in walnut trees. Yellowing in hackberry and hickory is just beginning in most areas. Virginia creeper vines are turning red on many trees. It is still pretty green for the most part.

This week, fall colors are beautiful in some places such as those in drier uplands of Wayne County. Blackgum and sumac are showing off the brightest red, and flowering dogwood leaves are nearly as bright.  Yellows can be seen on walnut, hickory, sassafras, catalpa, ironwood. The heavy persimmon crop adds splashes of orange.

There is starting to be a little more color on the landscape around Randolph County.  Some red maples are starting to turn; sassafras is turning deep red as is sumac.  White ash is beginning to show some purples. The forested areas have just a hint of color, and peak color is probably still week or two away.

Colors are finally starting to change in Jackson County. Maple, sycamore and hickory are turning yellow and some bright reds. Sumac trees are turning purple/red. The understory trees are starting to change, but the overstory trees have not started yet.

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illinois MapRegions Chicago Beyond

It’s really starting to seem like fall in the McHenry County area. The hickories are really turning bright yellow and the maples are turning yellow orange and red. Sumac are very dark red. Burning bushes are burning; Honey locust turned golden but are rapidly losing their leaves due to storms.

Around the Grundy County area, sassafras are coloring nicely on forest edges, red, orange and yellow. Walnuts are waning; hackberry, silver maple (some colored early), catalpa, even white pine (third year needle cast) are coloring up a fair yellow.  Some hickories are blushing yellow. Oaks continue to be spotty in areas (early stall seems to have picked up again), although much could be due to droughty conditions through summer. Black cherry is beginning its blush of red and yellow. Remaining white ash that have survived the emerald ash borer are purple, red, and yellow. 

Urban: Red maple cultivars are turning slowly. Bald cypress is just beginning its change from green to orange. Serviceberry not impacted by drought are changing slightly. Other, less common species such as scholartree are changing nicely

LaSalle County area has begun to color up. Sugar maples are yellow, red, and oranges. Hackberries, redbuds, wafer ash, hickory are all shades of yellows. Poison ivy, dogwoods, Virginia creeper, sumac, sassafras are all starting with good reds and oranges. Oaks are still showing a lot of green, but there are individuals showing up in color.

 

illinois MapRegions Land of Lincoln

In the Sangamon County area, walnuts are yellowing, sumac are beautiful red, oaks are lime green/off green with hints yellow. The sycamores are bright yellow, cottonwoods are brownish yellow, sugar maple are red and yellow.  Ash are nice yellow, Ivy are red and green, Paw Paw are beginning to show reds. Soft/silver maples are now begin yellowing. Other maples are beginning red orange yellow. Dogwood are showing some red.  Most exotic trees not native to Illinois are green, most oaks and hickories are green. Prediction: the height of fall color in Central Illinois occurs the middle of next week; then southern Illinois peaks the last week of October.

In Coles County, the color is still slowly showing itself. Black walnuts continue with leaves turning yellow, cottonwood and some sycamores continue to turn yellow. Green ash and a few hickories and sugar maples were turning yellow as well.  A few white ashes were noted with purple. Some poison ivy and Virginia creeper remain red; black gum were turning red as well.

 

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