Fall Colors on the Chippewa NF

 

Fall 2019

Take a trip on a tankful and enjoy one of the Scenic Byways on the Chippewa National Forest more information on specific byways and designations! 

Map showing typical fall colors

Current Fall Color Report

10/15/19

Color: Past Peak

The grand finale of fall colors is coming to an end. The trees have put on a stunning display causing the forest to glow. The added moisture of rain and snow has helped the leaves avoid the dry appearance. They have been holding on well, even with the winds (though things can change quickly). There are still a few pockets of red and orange-yellow in the red and sugar maples that were sheltered from the wind and rain. Bur oaks are now soft tan/brown and red oaks are stunning shades of reddish/orange and red-brown. Paper birch have a rich golden color. The tamarack, our deciduous conifer, are turning from soft yellow to deep gold as they begin to peak in color.

10/8/2019

Color: 75-100%

Touches of frost and cool temperatures have pushed fall colors into peak on the Chippewa National Forest. Now is the time to come see the golds and red-browns of autumn as we quickly move to peak in the second wave of fall colors. There are still trees with a few green leaves but the orange, yellow and golds of autumn are quickly taking over.

Golds, red-orange and amber are quickly replacing green. Paper birch are quickly showing more shades of bright yellow. Big-tooth and trembling aspen are quickly moving to peak with golds, yellows and hot orange-red leaves. There are still pockets of red and orange-yellow in the red and sugar maples that were sheltered from the wind and rain. Bur oaks and red oaks are beginning to show soft tan/brown and reddish/orange hues in larger pockets throughout the Forest. Larger stands of tamarack are turning soft yellow to deep gold as they transition. Basswood and Ash are going past their peak for color, though some trees still cling to soft yellow leaves.

The weather this fall on the Chippewa National Forest has been unusually cloudy and rainy. Wind often accompanies the weather changes. A combination of wind and heavy rains are causing our leaves to drop at a faster rate than past fall seasons.

10/1/19

Fall color status map for Minnesota.Color: 50-75%

Pine trees remain forever green enjoying the cool rainy weather. Colors are headed towards peak on the Chippewa National Forest after wind and rain the past several days.

The bright colorful leaves of the maples, basswood and ash are falling and we wait for the second wave of fall colors to reach peak. Paper birch are beginning to show more shades of bright yellow. Balsam poplar are still at peak, catch them quick! There are still pockets of red and orange-yellow beginning to appear in the red and sugar maples that were sheltered from the wind and rain. More hints of color are appearing in the bur oaks and red oaks that are beginning to show soft tan/brown and reddish/orange shades. Pockets of tamarack are starting to transition to a soft yellow. Diminishing asters line the forest edge.

Watch for the red squirrels and chipmunks as they scurry around packing away seeds for the winter!

9/27/19

Enjoy the beautiful fall colors from one of the 1300 lakes on the Forest.  
Fall fishing report: perch are active in the 10-12’ depths near the weeds. Best approach is a jig with a small minnow. Crappies are into their fall pattern and have moved out of the weeds and are suspended over deeper water. Walleye action is heating up on the steep shoreline breaks.

9/24/19

Color: 25-75%

Welcome back fall! Ash and Basswood trees are quickly moving to peak, displaying various shades of gold and yellow color; 50-75% color. Birch, Oak and Aspen are around 25-50% color. Balsam poplar are now peak showing off their drab khaki green/yellow color. Larger pockets of red and orange and yellow are beginning to appear as the red and sugar maples quickly change color. A few pockets of tamarack are beginning to turn a lighter shade of green to soft yellow as they begin to transition, they are at 10-25%.

White-tailed Deer, the fawns in particular this fall, are active early to mid-morning and early evening in the fall.

9/17/19

Color: 25-50%
 
Sumac are displaying a rich red color. They are beautiful right now. Ash trees are quickly showing more yellow while the Basswoods quickly soften to a yellow color. Balsam poplar are displaying a drab green/yellow color. Small bursts of red and orange-yellow are beginning to appear as the red and sugar maples just begin to change color. The paper birch are starting to show off their bright yellow leaves.

9/10/19

Color: 10-25%

Individual trees “seem” green, but when you step back and look down a trail, road or lakeshore you can see the overall changes occurring. Maples and ash are starting to turn and basswood are losing leaves. Understory plants like Virginia creeper are turning red.

9/3/19

A look at the changing leaves on the Chippewa National Forest

Color: 0-10% - Small hints of color can be seen scattered throughout the Chippewa National Forest. Look for the first signs of color appearing in the understory. Most trees are still displaying their summer green, however scattered maples are beginning to show orange and yellow leaves. Basswoods are starting to have more soft yellow leaves, though these early leaves are falling in the recent winds.

 

 


Mark your calendars for "typical" color change on the Forest:

  • Maples/Basswood: the last 2 weeks of September.
  • Oaks/Birch/Aspen: last week of September into the first and second week of October.
  • Tamaracks: our deciduous conifer turns a lovely gold around the second and third week of October.


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