By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — According to the Minnesota DNR, the Twin Cities metro area has reached 25-50% peak for fall colors.

“It seems like, in the Twin Cities, we’re a little later in our peak foliage,” says Matt Russell, a forest health expert with the University of Minnesota Extension.

So, what’s happening with this season’s leaves? Good Question.

“The short answer is the weather,” says Russell. “We’re seeing leaf conditions that are looking a little different than last year.”

Russell says the rainier and warmer September has an impact on the color of the leaves. They are changing later in the metro area and some are changing in different ways.

Deb from River Falls sent WCCO a photo of a tree that was half red, half-green. She wrote she’d never seen that before.

“In the fall, the sunlight really brings out the color,” says Russell. “We haven’t seen a lot of warm, sunny days.”

Trees are signaled to lose their green chlorophyll by daylight hours and weather conditions. They need warm, sunny September days and cooler nights.

“Those leaves on the tips and branches, many of those have color, whereas the ones closer to the trunk haven’t gotten their color yet,” Russell says. “They haven’t been exposed to much sunlight as the leaves on the branches and the tips of the trees.”


Heather Brown