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THERE are hints of autumn colour out­side my win­dow now as I see the stag’s horn sumach turn­ing golden yel­low.

Def­i­nitely one of the best small trees for fall colour, it’s not ev­ery­one’s favourite due to its ag­gres­sive suck­er­ing habit, mean­ing it puts up shoots reg­u­larly from the base and then spreads.

How­ever, here’s a bet­ter be­haved ver­sion – Tiger Eyes. Not only are the leaves very beau­ti­fully dis­sected, al­most fern­like, it stays a com­pact 3 to 6ft in height and doesn’t sucker so much. In any case, just cut any un­wanted shoots out as they ap­pear.

It does well in most soils, prefer­ably moist but well drained, and in full or par­tial shade. As well as the won­der­ful or­anges and scar­lets to en­joy in autumn, the con­i­cal flow­ers that emerge in sum­mer re­main on the antler-like branches for win­ter. An all-round star which has won the RHS Award of Gar­den Merit.

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