Autumn Tree Walk Guide

Visitors often ask, which trees will have the boldest fall colors? With thousands of trees with diverse taxa, we love to say every tree reflects autumn in its own way. The majestic Rock Elm, towering 100 feet tall, turns rich shades of orange and crimson. The ferny leaves of the Bald Cypress transform into coppery bronze before drifting to the ground.

There are several notable species that will awe and amaze you more than the rest.

First, the recipe for perfect fall colors combines several elements outside our control. Trees need the right blend of sunny days and cool nights; plenty of rain-fall, although not too much; and few hazardous storms, which can tear the leaves off the tree before they are ready. Fortunately, this summer was the perfect blend of precipitation and temperature, and we expect a stunning fall display!

Red maple, Acer rubrum
Southeast Drive
There’s nothing more stunning that Red Maple Row by the Humboldt South Pavilion. One of the most abundant native trees in eastern and central North America, red maples transform to a rich crimson. Depending on the weather conditions, the leaves can sometimes turn yellow.

Sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum
Half-moon near Kingshighway Entrance
Rare for St. Louis and even Missouri, the sourwood tree thrives in Tower Grove Park because of the rich soil and staff of certified arborists. Their leaves turn a deep scarlet or maroon, and sometimes yellow.

Sugar maple, Acer saccharum
Throughout the Park
The fiery sugar maple turns yellow to orange to red throughout the fall season. A deciduous tree central to northern and eastern North America, the beautiful sugar maple is popular for its bright fall foliage.

Black gum, Nyssa sylvatica
Throughout the Park
Beautiful in every season, the black gum trees boasts spring foliage, brilliant fall color and a lovely winter form with dropping branches. The black gums in the Park will turn vibrant red in early autumn, before many of other tree species.

Visit to discover more trees, or visit us during a fall event to see all the stunning colors.

Red maple row

Red maple row

Sourwood trees

Sourwood trees

Michelle Lawrence