MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — It’s that time of year again, time to watch the green leaves of summer melt into gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows across Minnesota. And those leaves have already started to turn in a few parts of the state.

The Department of Natural Resources launched its Fall Color Finder website for the season this month.

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The map shows that trees in Lake of the Woods and Roseau counties are already at 10% to 25% on the fall colors scale. The northern edge of the state typically sees its peak colors from mid to late September.

The Twin Cities area usually gets its peak from late September to early to mid-October. And then the southeastern portion of the state usually peaks sometime in mid-October. Click here for an interactive map showing the progression of fall colors by week.

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The Minnesota DNR says that the best fall colors come when there have been bright, warm days and cool nights without frost. It’s also good to have had a healthy amount of rain in the latter part of the summer. The warm September days allow the trees to continue producing sugars, which partly accounts for the brighter colors. The cool September nights lock in those sugars and slow down the production of chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll is what keep the leaves green through the summer and mask the color of the leaves underneath. Once that chlorophyll goes away, as the days get shorter and colder, the colors are revealed.

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