Best of the bunch: the Katsura tree
If you want a bit of wow factor in your garden in autumn, look no further than the Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), or candyfloss tree as it is sometimes known, which showers you in a sea of yellow, pink, orange and red leaves as autumn progresses.
The delicate, heart-shaped leaves have a sweet caramel scent when they fall. It’s a big tree, although it takes a long time to grow to its optimum height, 18m (60ft).
It is also wide-spreading so might be more suited to larger gardens, although there is a fairly compact variety C. magnificum, which you may have to seek out in specialist nurseries. The Katsura tree is an ideal choice for sheltered woodland gardens on acid soil, as it prefers fertile, well-drained lime-free soil and can be planted among other mature trees which will give it protection from cold winds and frosts.