While there are many perks to living in the Ozarks, the fall weather and fall foliage might be at the top of the list. The two things make living through the summer heat and humidity worth it.

Peak fall color for the Ozarks is still weeks away, but experts expect this year to be brilliant.

“We’re on track to have a really great fall this year,” explains Drury University’s Robert Balek, “We’ve got cool nights and cool nights help to bring out the reds. The reds are really what matter to make things spectacular.”

Fall color depends on several environmental factors, including weather, wet or dry ground conditions, species of trees, and if the tree is healthy or not.

One surprising fact is the dry weather we’ve been experiencing in the Ozarks could make for better conditions says Balek, “Dry conditions in fall actually enhance fall color. Wet conditions diminish fall color.”

Fall Foliage Tracker Week #1 (September 18, 2023)

Fall color is starting to show in patches. The first trees you will see turn are typically the nut trees.

“You’re going to see fall colors change first in the nut trees like pecans and walnuts. They’re going to start looking yellow,” explains Balek, “You may even see some leaves drop early on those trees and that’s normal.”

While September is on the dry side overall, recent rainfall and warmer temperatures could slow the peak down. Although, that doesn’t concern Balek, “Mother Nature knows about fall color and how to make it happen.”