The Ozark Mountain region begins its color makeover at the end of September and early October, with several trees implementing brilliant flush tones. The peak usually occurs in late October to early November, depending on weather conditions.
The Ozark fall foliage can be attributed to the leaves of many trees. Determining exactly which trees you’re viewing while overlooking the Ozark Mountain landscape can be tough, as many trees carry dozens of color variations and change color at different intervals. Our online guide highlights some of the Ozarks’ most prevalent trees and provides you with a good reference for matching the vivid fall colors to the appropriate trees.
When you see the brilliant scarlet colors of the Blackgum, you’ll know summer has ended. Among the first to change its color, the Blackgum tree has presents some of the most luminous leaves in the forest. Some folks consider the Blackgum’s tint the ultimate autumn display.
Sweetgums help kick-off the fall season with a variation of fall color in red, yellow, purple and orange. Sweetgum leaves can change colors at different times, leaving the tree with a varying assortment of leave colors.
The Hickory tree projects gorgeous yellow fall foliage. As one of the first trees to peak, Hickories shed their leaves early in the season. But, if you catch it at its peak, the tree is truly a site to see.
The Sassafrass tree makes up for its lack of size with beautiful fall colors of orange, yellow and deep wine and red colors. You’ll often spot the early season colors of the Sassafrass along fencerows, roadsides, and forest edges.
Silver, Sugar and Red Maples can be found in plenty across the Ozark Mountain Region. As fall-lover favorites, the maples develop a wide-array of colors. From deep yellow and blazing orange to fiery red and to a dull burgundy, Maples often carry leaves of varying colors on the same tree.
Maybe more impressive than its beautiful orange and yellow leaves, the Sycamore’s flour-white trunk provides a magnificent contrast to the surrounding fall colors. Its large leaves and lightly colored trunk distinguish the Sycamore tree from all the others.
Mostly noted for is beauty in the spring, the modest Flowering Dogwood contributes to the autumn color with deep red to reddish-purple foliage. Its graceful horizontal branching pattern can carry foliage well into December.
The most abundant Ozark trees, Oak trees change into a variety of colors during the fall. Though the Oak tree has nearly 50 different variations, Red Oaks, White Oaks, and Black Oaks are the most common in the region. The green summer leaves of the Red, White, and Black oaks turn to orange and deep red in ideal fall conditions, or reddish-brown during less-than-perfect seasons. Oak trees peak later than any other tree, which allows for a nice extension of the fall color.