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FALL FOLIAGE in Central Park NYC



    Red Maple

    It’s not just the red maple’s leaves that are red! In spring, its small flowers are red; these then make way for red-tinged winged seeds called “samaras.” In summer, the red maple boasts red stems. In fall, red maples blaze forth in a fiery spectacle all over Central Park.


    With its orange, yellow, and fire-engine red leaves, the black tupelo is one of the most gorgeous trees in the Park in autumn. And it’s not just human leaf-peepers who adore it: Migratory birds love its berries, which ripen at the same time its leaves change color. One of Central Park’s most iconic spots for fall foliage is the Ramble’s Tupelo Meadow, where you’ll find a magnificent three-trunked black tupelo offering a colorful fall foliage display.


    There are more than 100 sweetgum trees in Central Park, and it was likely growing wild in the area before the Park’s construction. Arguably offering the widest color range of all the Park’s tree species, it can turn purple, orange, red, or even pink in the fall. Sweetgums have star-shaped leaves, making them pretty no matter the season.

    American Elm

    Stop by the Mall to see an arching canopy of American elms, a towering tree whose oval-shaped leaves that turn bright yellow in autumn. American elms also tend to have twisting, upper branches, which distinguish this species from its European cousins.

    Bald Cypress

    The bald cypress may look like an evergreen, but it’s actually a deciduous conifer, forming cones in the summer and dropping needles in fall. So if you see something that looks like an evergreen dipped in bronze, that’s the bald cypress. And here’s another fun fact: At around 50 to 70 feet in height, the bald cypress may seem tall, but when compared to its relatives the giant sequoia and California redwood, it turns out to be the small one in its family!

    Black Cherry

    The black cherry is the most common tree in Central Park. It has long, shiny leaves that turn yellow and red in autumn. Although the black cherry is only distantly related to the trees that provide the cherries we humans eat, birds and mammals both love its fruit, and its leaves provide food for the Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly.

    Kwanzan and Yoshino Cherry

    When we think of cherry trees, we tend to think of the glorious white and pink blossoms they wear in the spring. But come autumn, the Park’s cherries are once again alive with color. The cherries that surround the Reservoir were donated by the Japanese government in 1912, and there are two different species to admire: On the west side of the Reservoir you’ll find the Kwanzan cherry, while on the east side you’ll find the Yoshino cherry.


    When it comes to colorful trees, crabapples are the gift that keeps on giving. In the spring, their flowers bloom in an array of colors, from white to pink, peach, blush, yellow, and even deep burgundy. In fall, their leaves turn a beautiful reddish-orange color, and the bright red fruit is a bird favorite.

Tag your best leaf-peeping pics with #CentralParkFoliageWatch and follow us on social @CentralParkNYC to see the Park transition into its fall finery in real-time.

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Source: Peak Fall Foliage Map | Central Park Conservancy