SPRINGFIELD, Mo- Fall foliage peaks at different times for different locations. For the northern part of Missouri, colors usually peak around Mid October, while the rest of Missouri peaks in Late October.

Fall time is all about the fall festivities, changing of the leaves, and cooler weather.

Why do leaves change color?

With cooler weather, the chlorophyll breaks down, leaving other chemicals, such as carotene, which is the orange hue seen on leaves. The summer season affects how vibrant the colors are on leaves with dry conditions in late summer, while autumn has sunny days and cool nights results in the best combination for bright colors.

Some weather ingredients that are needed to intensify fall foliage are:

  • Mild, Sunny Days
  • Chilly Nights
  • Light Frost, Not Freezing
  • Amount of Moisture in Soil
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However, if the region has experienced a late spring or a drought, the peak foliage could delay the onset of color. The Ozarks were dry for most of the summer, being below average for precipitation, which resulted in the delay of color change. Right now, there is patchy foliage, but wait a few more weeks, and that will be a different story! The earliest we could see a near peak around the Ozarks will be in a few weeks; however, the weather will play a major factor in when peak foliage is.

The trees are slowly starting to transition with most trees having the reddish hue, which is from the chemical Anthocyanin. Below are a few bright, vibrant trees that are ahead of the game.