'It's not your imagination': Minnesota DNR confirms fall colors peaking early

In a burst of vibrant colors as we near the end of September, fall foliage is already on display in Minnesota.

Val Cervenka with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the colors are indeed ahead of schedule.

Cervenka said that when compared to the past two years, in parts of the state, this year's fall colors are peaking 10 days to two weeks ahead of what we generally see.

“It's not your imagination. It is real. The whole upper half of the state is showing 75-100 percent of peak color now, according to our fall color finder map, and the last couple of years aren’t even close to that,” she said.

Cervenka said that what’s driving the trend is pockets of dry weather and frost in northern portions of the state.

“When things are dry, trees exhibit signs of stress and sometimes changing color….in the summer time you might see tress changing very early, and that's because they are under stress,” she said.

In the metro, an explosion of color is beginning to emerge.

“I already see leaves falling from trees so we’re kind of in the middle of things becoming peak right now. I’m guessing if people want to get out and about, it needs to be soon, for sure.”