The first day of Fall is September 22 but in many parts of Wisconsin the bright colors of leaves may be at their peak even before that thanks to a hot summer and drought conditions that went from mild to severe across the state. Leaves generally start changing colors when the amounts of daylight start to decrease which usually is around the same time every year.

Last year leaves in Northern Wisconsin reached their peak the last weekend in September and  the third weekend of October in the southern half of the state. But with the drought and a surge of hot weather at the end of August most parts of the state will have the Fall leaves changing color much sooner than in years past.

Colleen Matula, a forest silviculturist/ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in Ashland and Bayfield Counties said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The trees still think it’s summer. We are starting to see some individual trees (in Ashland and Bayfield counties) start to turn color already. Noting that is a month earlier than they usually turn. We need those cooler nights to amplify those bright colors, like those reds and purples.

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Parts of Central and northeastern Wisconsin did not experience as much of a drought as the rest of the state so the colors might be pretty good in those areas. When I was home in Milwaukee 2 weeks ago everything looked really green as they too did not have as severe drought conditions either.  The Fall color report for Superior and Douglas County is being predicted as the third week in September for peak leaf colors.

For updates on the state of fall colors in Wisconsin, check Travel Wisconsin's Fall Color Report online, with conditions in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties  The Website is If you are someone that like to check out the Fall colors you definitely will want to do some research before you head out on the road.

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