Some folks consider blackgum the ultimate fall color. It always shows up in fall color field guides with all the appropriate promotions. According to Dr. Mike Dirr, black tupelo is "A true harbenger of autumn. In September, before most trees acknowledge that summer has ended, a smattering of leaves on black tupelo trees start to twinkle yellow, orange, and red."
Tupelo gum is often associated with baldcypress in their natural ranges. Baldcypress is a rare conifer that turns a dark rust red color in the fall and drops all the needles. When you have the gum reds mixed with southern cypress rust you have a visual delight.
Gum and cypress trees are closely associated. The oak-gum-cypress forest type is found primarily along major river and stream bottoms and swamps of the Coastal Plain and Mississippi Alluvial Valley.