Now that you’ve survived the last hot day of the year, you’re looking forward to the next big thing. You can unpack your sweaters and grab your first pumpkin spice latte whenever you please. But, when will the leaves change?
That is the must-see moment of the fall. It is mesmerizing to watch the swathes of green trees fade away–replaced by dazzling amber, maroon, gold and bronze hues. You’ve got to soak up the leaves’ beauty while they’re here because they don’t last long.
Learn what month your tree leaves will likely change color and fall this autumn. Or figure out why your tree still has leaves when others don’t.
When Tree Leaves Change Color and Fall (Northeast, Midwest, South and West)
Across the country, October is the month for leaf color and drop! More exact dates are below.
Of course, if there’s unusual weather in your area, like an especially dry season or early fall, trees may lose leaves sooner or later. Because weather has such a large impact, these dates may vary. The best combination for stellar leaf color? Dry, warm days followed by cool nights without frost and little wind to blow the leaves off the tree.
- Leaf Fall Dates in the Northeast: You’ll see peak fall color in mid-October. In northern parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, you could see this as early as late September. Tree leaves will start falling either early or late October – about a week after peak color.
- Leaf Fall Dates in the Midwest: Expect leaf color to be the best around mid-October. Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will see this a bit sooner in early October. Leaves will then begin to fall a week later, so mid-to-late October.
- Leaf Fall Dates in the South: Leaves in the South will showcase peak color in late October or early November. In West Virginia, east Tennessee, western Virginia, or western North Carolina, you could see this in mid-October. Leaves will then fall one week after that, so anywhere from late October to mid-November.
- Leaf Fall Dates in the West: Leaves in the West will change in early or mid-October. In Washington, Oregon and Northern California, you’ll see peak leaf color in late October. Denver leaves change the earliest in late September. Leaves will fall about one week later, so anywhere from early to late October.
Why do my trees still have leaves when other nearby trees are bare?
Some tree species, particularly oaks and beeches, keep their leaves much longer than other trees. In fact, these leaves will dry out, but cling to the tree until a storm or wind blows them off.
If only a few of your trees’ branches still have their leaves, that could mean there’s a problem. It’s best to play it safe. Have a certified arborist come out and inspect your tree during a free consultation.