5 Colorful Trees You’ll FALL in Love With (and where to find them)

A happy couple stands under a tree with fall colors

5 Colorful Trees You’ll FALL in Love With (and where to find them)

The fall color change is one of nature’s most exciting and beautiful displays. Not only do the brilliant colors signify the change in season, but they beautify our Cincinnati neighborhoods and parks. Several factors affect how saturated fall colors will be including adequate rainfall, bright, sunny days and comfy late-summer temperature ranging between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are some our favorite colorful trees and where you can find them:

Sweetgum: Burnet Woods

Sweetgum five-pointed leafSweetgum has star-shaped leaves that are dark green in summer and bears alien-like hard spiked fruit. During the fall change, the leaves shift through brilliant shades of yellow and orange before turning strikingly vibrant shades of red and burgundy. You can spot many of these trees throughout Burnet Woods, one of Cincinnati’s oldest parks!




Ginko: Fleischmann Gardens

Tree trunk surrounded by fallen Ginko leavesGinko leaves have unique fan-shaped leaves that turn a phenomenal yellow color in the fall. It is common to see this tree in urban areas as they handle heat and pollution quiet well. Fun fact, the earliest leaf fossil was that of the ginko tree and is 270 million years old! The best park to find these trees is Fleischmann Gardens, but you better go quick; they don’t hold their leaves very long.




Dogwood: Mt Airy Forest and Arboretum

Dogwood leaves hanging on the branchDogwood trees have four-seasons appeal with spring’s showy flowers, summer shade, autumn foliage and winter checkered bark. The close-grained bark of the dogwood was historically used for weaving in the textile industry. These brilliantly red and deep crimson leaves can be spotted throughout the 1,459 acres of the Mt. Airy Forest and Arboretum.




Beech: California Woods Nature Preserve

Beech leaves on a tree branchBeech trees can easily be identified by their smooth, metallic gray bark and electric yellow autumn leaves. More than just an excellent shade tree, they also provide the perfect cozy home for a variety of wildlife such as raccoons and squirrels. If you’re hoping to take in the sights of these trees exploding in fall color, head over to California Woods Nature Preserve  which is home to some stately beech trees.




‘Autumn Applause’ Ash: Martin Luther King Drive

Fall colored ash trees line a streetDid you know that Cincinnati Parks maintains more than just parks? Our staff also care for 85,00 public street trees! At one time, 10% of those street trees were ash, but with the rise of the invasive species Emerald Ash Borer, only a few hundred remain.  The lucky few trees that survived still offer a rainbow display of color each fall including green, orange, yellow, red and purple. You can see some of Cincinnati’s only remaining ‘Autumn Applause’ ash trees lining Martin Luther King Drive between Victory Parkway and Gilbert Avenue.



Do you know a great place in our parks to spot outstanding fall color? Tag us in your fall pictures with #cincyparks to connect with us and have your fall finds featured!