Missouri’s fall colors are at their peak around Mid-October. Some northeastern and mountain states are known for their fall colors, but state Conservation Department resource forester Corey Gregg says Missouri has many more species of trees.

Fall colors peak in Missouri (Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation)

Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

“Missouri has quite a few different species that show different colors,” says Gregg. “I think it probably ranks up there pretty high. I just don’t know that it’s a known state because we don’t have as much maple usually in our landscape – that gives the most diversity in color, or even sweet gum.”

Gregg says Missouri is home to nearly 100 different types of trees.

“I think that Missouri has maybe a little bit more diversity in tree species and plant species than some of the other states that have maybe a primary handful of trees that dominate,” says Gregg.

He says the season’s shades are fully dependent on weather.

“The colors are already in the leaves. It just takes a certain type of weather event to basically bring those colors out,” says Gregg. “In the fall, as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, the chlorophyll breaks down so the other pigments in the leaves start showing up, mainly the yellows and the oranges.”

Gregg says plenty of sunlight and cool weather helps break down the sugars in the leaves and creates other shades like red and purple.

He expects the state’s fall colors to continue through the beginning to middle of November. Fall ends December 21.

The department’s website has fall color updates to show what the current colors are like in specific areas of the state. Click here for updates.