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Fall colors start to peak in parts of Minnesota

Fall colors start to peak in parts of Minnesota
Fall colors start to peak in parts of Minnesota 02:18

OAKDALE, Minn. — It felt nothing like fall this weekend, but in some parts of Minnesota, the autumn leaves are already peaking in color. 

At Oakdale Nature Preserve, many families spent Sunday outside during the hottest October day on record.

"Fall is the busiest for photographers. The field is so beautiful, the trees are beautiful, so there's some good versatility here," said photographer Kjersti Kronstedt, with Mortenson Photography.

She took photos of Christine and Justin Tauer and their twins, who are about to turn 2.

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"She did their newborn photos, too, so every year we try to get them because they just grow so fast," Christine said.

Most of the leaves at Oakdale Nature Preserve were still green this weekend. But to the north in places near Bemidji and the Boundary Waters, fall colors have already peaked. The changing colors are happening earlier this year compared to last.

"Stress can cause early leaf drop, just skipping past the fall colors altogether," said Nick Kantola, a certified arborist with Rainbow Treecare.  


Kantola said despite recent rain, much of the state is still under drought conditions which impact fall colors.

"It's probably going to be a little earlier than we are used to, it's probably going to be a little more muted than we're used to, especially in natural areas and parks where they don't get the care that urban and suburban lawns tend to get where people actually water their trees," he said.

Vadnais Heights resident Isabelle Schwarz noticed the tree on her property changed colors early this year.

RELATED: Drought, heat make for unique fall color season

"We're actually just on a walk in White Bear yesterday and we're smelling the pines and even like the maples when they're turning, it's like the fermenting of the leaves but it smells sweet, like maple syrup," Schwarz said.

The Tauers are hoping to drive up north to see the leaves soon.

"It's part of Minnesota culture and we appreciate the change in the seasons. Not every state gets to have that luxury, that benefit," Justin said.

If you have a tree outside your home, arborists recommend watering your tree as long as you can, until the ground is frozen.

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