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Fall Color Starting to Appear in the Ozarks

Autumn is here, but the beautiful fall colors we look forward to seeing each year, while beginning to show, are still several days away from being at their peak. Michele Skalicky talks with tree experts to find out what they’re expecting this year for fall color.

I’m at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield, and, fall color is definitely starting to appear, though many leaves are still green. I think I’ll head back and talk to the experts to find out what they’re expecting this year for fall color.

I was able to get hold of Justine Gartner, an urban forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation in Jefferson City.
“What can we expect for fall color?”

To get a perspective closer to home, I contacted Cody Smith, Missouri Department of Conservation Forester here in Southwest Missouri. He, too, says that fall color is hard to predict. But, like Gartner, he also told me that sunny days and cool nights will lead to a brilliant display of autumn hues.

Smith says we can expect to see some good yellowing this year with all the rain we’ve had, but the verdict on how brilliant the other colors will be is still out.

There are lots of places to go to see fall color…local parks like Phelps Grove and the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. And Smith suggests driving back roads—getting off the beaten path. A brochure is available at the MDC office on N. Mayfair, just north of Kearney near 65 and at the Nature Center. It lists good drives to take to view fall color.

Smith expects fall color to peak here in late October.
For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.