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 11/02/18

illinois MapRegions Great rivers Country 1

Northwest Illinois

In Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, Carroll, and Stephenson Counties, peak fall color happened during last two weeks.  Native species are no longer showing much green. Some species are losing or have dropped their leaves. Primary colors are orange, red, and auburn yellow.

In the Quad Cities region, the oaks have suddenly turned, with black and bur oak generally brownish yellow to beige; white oak are brownish yellow to rust to a reddish pink color; red oak vary from yellow brown to maroon, pin oak vary from yellowish brown to bronze; white ash and red maple are still holding on to pinkish purple and faint scarlet, respectively; sugar maple are mainly yellow and yellowish orange; hickories are brownish yellow to brown. Some trees are still light green. Burning bushes are, for the most part, brilliant scarlet, especially in full sun.

West Central Illinois

In Pike, Adams, Brown, Scott, Calhoun, Jersey, Macoupin, and Greene Counties, nearly all tree species are taking on full fall colors, with only a few stubborn oak, hickory, and pecan trees remaining entirely green.  With strong weekend winds, trees in Adams County, Brown County, and northern Pike and Scott Counties were steadily losing leaves. Peak fall colors in most areas of these counties will be through this weekend.  After this weekend, fall colors will likely diminish a great deal in most areas.

Nearly the entirety of Calhoun County has exceptional colors right now.  Great fall color drives this weekend would be from Alton to Grafton along the Great River Road (Route 100).

The fall colors in the Jersey County area have finally begun to develop. The area along the Great Road from Alton to Bluffs including Pere Marquette State Park will peak through early next week. Maples are getting very good yellows, reds and oranges. The oaks still have good amounts of green leaves, but the reds and oranges are coming along. The dogwoods, sassafras and sumacs have good reds, yellow and oranges. The area burning bushes have brilliant reds.

illinois MapRegions Trails to Adventure 1

Sugar maples have changed drastically in the last week in the Marion County area, with lots of yellow and orange.  Many hickory trees are bright with yellow and orange as well, and some have started to brown giving a nice contrast on individual trees.  Many black and red oaks have started to show some yellow and orange hues. Many white oak are showing orange and deep red color.  Red maple in many communities are very bright and attractive. Many of the cottonwood leaves have fallen from the trees.  The change was quick, but colors are outstanding.  Peak color in the area should occur in the next 5-10 days.  Take a drive through your local state park or come enjoy a picnic while gazing at the wonderful colors on display.

Peak color is on now in the Wayne County area.  Colors have turned out surprisingly well in southeastern Illinois. Maples have been very bright; mainly yellow but some with orange and red. Sassafras is mainly orange, but there are some really bright red ones. Hickories are also very yellow. When the maple and hickory plus spicebush in the understory are the main forest species, it's really a wall of yellow.  Woodland walks have been absolutely gorgeous.

Many trees are at about two-thirds peak color in the Randolph County area.  A lot of trees seemed to turn bright colors overnight and the hickories in particular are glowing yellow.  Oaks are lagging a little, but they are starting to turn.  Peak will likely be next week.

Color is picking up in the Jackson County area, with some nice color.  There is a lot of yellow, gold, red, and orange starting to pick up in the canopy.  A lot of the understory trees are still holding their leaves, punctuated by purple dogwoods and a lot of yellow.  Not at peak color yet, and rainfall may drop lots of leaves.

illinois MapRegions Chicago Beyond

Many trees appeared to have hit peak color this past weekend in the McHenry County area. Maples are really red and orange right now. The red oaks are really showing their reds at this point. Bur and white oaks are browning and losing leaves rapidly due to high winds. Most of the rest of the trees have fully lost their leaves.

In the Grundy County area, black oaks are in full swing in most areas, with golds, reds and orange-brown. White oaks are reddish brown in many places; bur oaks yellow; shingle oaks are yellow to orange and chinquapin are red and yellow.  Quaking aspen are yellow to brown.  Some sumacs continue reddish purple but are waning.  Hickory trees are done with the hard freeze.  Sassafras, cherry, hackberry, catalpa, and walnut are done.  Most hazelnuts are a third defoliated, but remaining leaves are red to yellow.  Witch hazel is bright yellow.

 

illinois MapRegions Land of Lincoln

Good fall color is reported in McDonough County, though strong winds on Sunday took down a lot of leaves.

Color has peaked for all colors and species of trees this week in the Mason County area. High winds have also blown many leaves down.

Fall color in Sangamon County is peaking now and colors are stunning. Maples are orange, white oaks and hickories are bright yellow, with tons of color.

In the Illinois River Valley area, there will be peak color over the weekend.  All the oaks are really turning and many with great red color.  Maples are peaking with vibrant orange, yellow and red color.  The river valley areas took some foliage losses due to the high winds last weekend.  The later turning trees that will be peaking the next week or so held their leaves very well.  Hiking along trails reveals many of the shrub species in colors now.  Dogwoods and hazelnuts are turning purple.  Sumacs have dropped many of their leaves, but their seed heads are a quite vibrant red in the sun.  Smilax species are turning yellow and exposing clusters of purple fruits.  Bright red and orange clusters of rose hips can be seen on the wild roses.  In the urban landscape, there are all kinds of trees turning vibrant colors along with landscape shrubs.  It will be a great week for color.

 

 

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