Fall colors starting to peak this week; find viewing hot spots around Missouri


ST. LOUIS– You may have noticed the leaves starting to change color around the area but this week is when they will be getting closer to their peak color.

Daniel Moncheski, a community forester with the conservation department, said some leaves are just starting to turn. He said the St. Louis area could expect to see the leaves peak within a week, maybe two.

Moncheski said the maple and ash trees are already starting to turn colors and the oak trees should be following soon.

He explained the weather over the weekend helped the colors to start popping. He said longer, cooler evenings lead to the color change.

Moncheski also said areas that are in valleys tend to have leaves that change color first. He suggested looking along Highway 94 in St. Charles County or Highway 79 in Lincoln County.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has some fall color hot spots in our area:

You can get a full list of MDC’s recommendations for all the regions of the state by visiting its Fall Color site.

The timing and quality of these colors are impacted yearly by the weather. Not only the fall weather leading up to it but the summer weather as well. 

“A lot of it has to do with just the overall health of the tree and that is always tied to the weather. So a tree that’s been through a lot of heat stress and drought stress isn’t going to have the same energy reserves and the same compounds built up inside of itself to make that really brilliant color,” said Aaron Lynn-Vogel, horticulture answer service coordinator at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

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