The peak season for enjoying the fall colors is near. For Northern Illinois, it could be this weekend. For Central and Southern Illinois, it’ll be a week to 10 days later, depending on the weather, says Ed Hedhorn, the plant records manager at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “Fall leaf change actually starts the middle part of September for us, and will continue all the way into late October to even early November, depending on the weather, when some of the Asiatic pears that are used in the landscape will change a rich burgundy color,” he said.
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The first trees to go are white ash, followed by hickory, honey locust, hackberry and sugar maple. Hedhorn says this year will be about average for fall color. A contributing factor to the quality of the colors the trees display is the fall weather. Hedhorn says it’ll be real nice if it’s warm and sunny during the day and cool at night.