The Colors of Fall

Published 9:07 am Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall colors can be breath-taking. According to, southern Minnesota trees reach the height of their fall color in early to mid-October.

Yellow colors, caused by the chemical xanthophyll, are common in ash, basswood, birch, cherry, cottonwood, elm, hickory, ironwood, mountain ash, poplar, willow, boxelder and some maples.

Red colors, caused by the chemical anthocyanin, are typically present in sumac, some oaks and some maples.

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Orange colors are caused by the chemical carotene can be found in some oaks and maples.

Warm, sunny days and chilly nights (below 45 degrees, but without frost) create the brightest (meaning red) colors.

Enjoy the colors on the trees. They don’t last long, and heavy winds and rain are their worst enemy.

Soon, they’ll be a colorful carpet on the ground, just waiting to be raked up.

That’s why we’ve offered this mini-scrapbook of some of this year’s prettiest to keep and remember long after they’re gone.