What to record in September - rowan autumn tinting

Judith Garforth, 31/08/2017

Autumn tinting of rowan leaves (Ben Lee/WTML)

We've received a few records of rowan first autumn tinting already this year. Have you noticed the leaves changing colour in your area?

Rowan is one of the best native tree species for autumn colour. The leaves change colour from green to yellow and sometimes even to red or purple.

If you'd like to find out more about why leaves change colour in autumn you can read Helen's blog.

Red tinting (Judith Garforth/WTML)

Yellow tinting (Ben Lee/WTML)

Purple tinting (Judith Garforth/WTML)

Recording rowan autumn tinting for Nature's Calendar

  1. Choose a rowan tree to observe this autumn. 
  2. Visit the tree at least once or twice a week to check the colour of the leaves. You might find this easier if you choose a tree that you already pass regularly, for example a tree on your way to work or the shops.
  3. Record the date of first autumn tinting when several leaves on the tree have started to change colour.
  4. Record the date of full autumn tinting when all of the leaves on the tree have changed colour. It may not be possible to record full autumn tinting if the leaves fall before they have fully changed colour.

When should I start looking?

The Nature's Calendar data from the last 10 years shows that rowan leaves usually start to tint between mid-August and mid-October. The trees become fully tinted between mid-September and mid-November.

The UK average recording date for first and full autumn tinting of rowan varies from year to year. Of the last five years, 2014 was the earliest year for rowan tinting with an average first tinting date of 11 September and a full tinting date of 6 October.

2014 was an early year for rowan autumn tinting

Rowan desktop wallpaper

Rowan desktop wallpaper

Use our rowan desktop wallpaper during September to remind you what to look out for.

Conker breaking out of outer shell on a tree

Join thousands of other people and let us know what's happening to wildlife near you.

Have you seen your first butterfly or swallow of the spring? Is it a good year for wild autumn fruits? Take part in Nature's Calendar and help scientists to monitor the effects of climate change on wildlife.

Add a record