The Beauty of Iowa Fall Foliage

Oct 3, 2014

Summer is officially over, but the changing of the seasons brings a whole new type of beauty to our Iowa landscape.

"All trees go dormant in this region, even the evergreens. But the deciduous trees basically have to shut down their system, and during that process, things change," says Mark Vitosh.

Vitosh is a district forester with Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He explains that the beauty of the trees lies in the science behind them staying alive.

"One of the keys is pigments. One of the key pigments is chlorophyll which gives us the green color. But, as fall comes, those cells begin to break down and then those cells break down, there's actually other pigments already in the leaves. Those pigments that basically stay there all summer, the  carotenes and carotenoids, and those are the yellows and the oranges." 

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Vitosh about fall color. Richard Jauron, an ISU Extension Horticulturist, also joins the conversation.