Pistacia chinensis. Sadly, most of the relatives of pistachio (Anacardiaceae) such as lentisc and terebinth hail from the Mediterranean and not very hardy in British conditions. Their relatives in Rhus (sumacs) are a better choice as many colour well in autumn. However, the eastern representative P. chinensis is certainly bone-hardy in southern England and has excellent yellow to red fall colour. Kew, UK.

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo'. This well-known member of the Rosaceae from north America is often mistaken for a Viburnum which it rather resembles in leaf (as the name suggests) and umbellate flower-head. It is best known for its foliage variants 'Luteus' (although Dart's Gold is better) with yellow leaves, particularly in spring and autumn, and the very dark-leaved 'Diabolo' which colours deep red in autumn. Author's garden, Hexham, UK.

Physocarpus 'Diabolo' in flower in June, with a rhododendron. Author's garden.

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Luteus' in autumn colour. Author's garden, Hexham.

On the whole, Populus is not a tree genus that one would choose for colour in the autumn garden, not least because many sucker badly and rapidly form thickets. Given a large park where the grass is mown, P. x canadensis 'Serotina Aurea' is well worth a place for its fine autumn golden display. However, in the countryside, the various aspens (e.g. P. tremula in Europe and P. tremuloides in America colour beautifully, and are a major component of the fall display in the far north. Here P. tremula is seen in the Krk Nose mountains, Czech Republic.

One of the best native trees for autumn colour in the UK is the wild cherry, Prunus avium. It often colours early, and in some years the leaves can hang for a long time. The precise fall colour often varies from year to year; this orange-red is typical. Hexham, UK.

Apart from P. avium, the genus Prunus is not noted for autumn colour. However several species have spectacular bark, not least the Tibetan Cherry, Prunus serrula, which is seen at its best against low autumnal sunlight. Author's garden, Hexham.

Pseudolarix amabilis. Most conifers are evergreen, but, famously, the larches are deciduous and all colour well. The Golden Larch comes from China and is a good choice for a garden with its relatively slow growth and magnificent autumn display. Knightshayes, UK.

Pseudolarix amabilis. Kew, UK.

Pterocarya fraxinifolia, Caucasian Wing-nut. This member of the walnut family, Juglandaceae, has characteristic fruits, like monkey-nuts hung on a string. It forms a big, fast-growing tree and has lovely large pinnate leaves which turn golden in autumn. Thorpe Perrow, Yorks.

Pterocarya rhoifolia. A little-known wing-nut from Lao-Shan, China which grows into a large tree, 30 m high. Howick Hall, Northumberland, UK.

Pyracantha coccinea, the firethorn, is a Rosaceous shrub which is native to south-east Europe and western Asia. It is partially evergreen and has no notable autumn foliage colouration, but is grown principally for the fine show of berries which vary from yellow (e.g. Sappho Yellow') to brilliant red ('Mohave', 'Watereri'). Grown against a wall is it a rapid grower which takes and indeed needs heavy pruning, but always with good leather gloves as the thorns are vicious. It can be susceptible to fireblights, but rarely suffer in the north of the UK. Author's garden, Hexham, UK.

Pyracantha coccinea 'Golden Charmer'. Author's garden.

Pyrus calleryana. This is the only pear that one is likely to admire with respect to autumn foliage which is usually best after early frosts. The variety most often grown is 'Chanticleer' as here, for its relative narrow growth, and abundant white blossom in spring. China. Grown at Kew, UK, as an avenue.

Pyrus calleryana. Autumn foliage. This is not a species noted for its fruit. Kew, UK.

Quercus coccinea. Scarlet Oak. There are 600 species of oak in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, and although the many Old World species include many magnificent trees, most are not noted for their autumn colour. However in the Americas are a number of species with superb fall colour of which Q. coccinea from the NE USA and SE Canada is one of the best. Kew, UK.

Quercus dentata the Daimyo Oak from China and Japan shows the rather unexciting grey-brown tones typical of many Eurasiatic oaks in autumn. However it keeps its leaves in the canopy for much of the winter, so that the rather handsome leaves can provide some interesting foliage contrasts. Kew, UK.

Quercus frainetto, the Hungarian Oak has interestingly shaped leaves and can form a noble tree. It is native in eastern Europe. Thorpe Perrow, Yorks.

The fallen leaves of Quercus frainetto make fascinating, coffee-tinted patterns. Thorpe Perrow.

Quercus pontica, the Pontine Oak is unusual in having almost entire, finely toothed leaves. It grows native in the Caucasus and Black Sea coasts. Kew, UK.

Quercus rubra. Red Oak. Perhaps the most popular of the north American oaks, this fast-growing species is suitable for urban planting and is seen here as a street tree in inner Newcastle, UK.

Quercus rubra. Autumn foliage.

Quercus shumardii from the southern and central USA is one of the smaller American oaks and one of the best for autumn colour, so it is suitable for a large garden. Kew, UK.

Quercus shumardii, foliage close. Kew.

Quercus velutina, the Black Oak, also of the southern and central USA is best known for its asymmetrical foliage. Kew, UK.