New Trees!

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by roryglasgow, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I found some weeds in the No Mow Zone of our yard the other day that make some really nice looking trees. I don't know what the plant is, but it it has seed pods that had burst open. The seeds were like dandelion seeds, and had pretty much blown away. The plants were completely dried out. Anyway, I clipped off several pieces, painted the tops green, and made trees and bushes. Attached is a picture of one of the larger ones.

    -Rory

    Attached Files:

  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I don't know what kind of weed it is either, but it makes a really neat tree! :D
  3. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Looks real good to me Rory:D
  4. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I thought about sprinkling foam on them to make them look fuzzier. But in the end I decided to use them as-is. I made about 30 trees in various sizes, and all it cost me was part of a $1.00 can of green spray paint and a little bit of a bottle of 44 cent acrylic (to cover the green that got on the trunks). You can't beat that! :)

    -Rory
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    That is one perfect tree, Rory! :cool:
    There's nothing better than building a little project with things you find around the house!
    A"No Mow Zone"?? Sounds like my kinda place! :D
  6. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Rory, that's about as perfect as it gets from nature. The effect is super! I'm looking forward to seeing your 3 sq ft forrest next week Rory!
    Any chance of you taking a sample to your local garden centre and getting the Latin and common name for it?
    With a bit of luck, it might grow here in UK then I'd know what I'm looking for.

    Did you notice Shamus won't tell us the name of his weeds used as Douglas Firs??? I'm sure he has a big supply of them coz nobody ever "made" that many miniatures!!!!! ...:D :D :D

    Errol
  7. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Errol, I'll try to get an ID on it. If the garden center can't help, I'll see if I can find someone at the university. The structure of these branches make excellent armatures by themselves. I'm going to look for some more of these plants, too, in the forbidding, unexplored southeast corner of the yard.

    Charlie, the "No Mow Zone" next to my house is actually outside of my "yard." My landlord, being the genius that he is, had all of the trees around the house cut down a few years ago. The guy came in, took the best wood, and left the rest in a big pile. So not only does our house not have any trees around it (it gets HOT in the summer!) but there's a big ugly pile of debris next door. Anyway, that area is too rough for even a push mower, so neither I nor my neighbor bother with mowing it. But, in this case, it turned out to my advantage! :)

    Here's the whole forest shortly before I planted it on the layout:

    Attached Files:

  8. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Rory;

    It's a little difficult to tell from the picture because the color isn't easy to discern, but my first bet if it has a pod that puts out materials like a dandelion is that it may be some sort of milkweed.

    Looks good, whatever it is. Will/have you sprayed it to help it keep its color and consistency?

    Bob
  9. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Bob,

    Yes, they're actually completely dried out. I painted the tops green, and painted the trunks brown where the green got on them. And I think you're right that it might be a type of milkweed.

    -Rory
  10. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I'm trying to learn here, so the old timers may be laughting a bit, but with the natural foliage, paint, etc, are those "trees" fairly brittle? I would think that you would have to paint or laquer them or they would soon droop, but paint or laquer can also make them extremely fragile.

    Based on your experience, how long would you continue to use a tree like this on your display? Will they begin to show their age fairly soon?

    Bob
  11. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Bob, I have some "weed" trees that are at least 7 years old and so far no problem. I didn't paint mine, I sprayed them with cheap hair spray and dipped them in a bag of different shades of coarse ground foam. You have better luck if you use "woody" weeds, ones that tend to snap when bent. If its wood it will last forever as long as you don't soak it with water.:)
  12. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Bob,

    I also have some "trees" that I got at a train show over a year ago that are some kind of goldenrod (I think). Except for the fact that they've lost some "leaves" from being handled so much, they're in fine shape.

    Those Super Trees that are sold by Scenic Express are some kind of sage brush. In their procedure for making trees, they say to dip them into Matte Medium. I guess this is something like diluted white glue. It's supposed to preserve them. I was hoping that the paint I used on my weeds might help hold them together. They were thoroughly dry when I picked 'em, and they were very sturdy. They are also of the "woody" variety. :)

    -Rory
  13. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Rory, you should be O.K., some of the trees at my tobacco farm are reused from a diorama I made 7 years ago and I didn't do anything to preserve them.
  14. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    thanks guy. All very interesting and useful information to store away for another day. Hopefully that day for me is getting closer. I should have all my new DCC equipment early this coming week and I plan to get cracking on getting that all installed and then I think I'll do some experimenting with scenery while I finish up a couple of yards and spurs. Would you believe I am this far along and still am not completely certain where I want to put certain things, like the passenger station:D

    The original plan I am working from has a six track yard in one of the better ares to view and I am seriously considering placing my passenger station on the back side of that yard. I have another yard that can be used for freight I'll figure it all out about 20 minutes before I actually put things into place:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Bob
  15. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Well Bob, if you put something somewhere and decide you don't like it you can always remove it. Truth be known :rolleyes: we sometimes spend as much time tearing things out as we do putting them in! Remember there is no rush, this is a HOBBY not a job, just remember to enjoy yourself. :D
  16. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Bob,
    Tyson is right on the money...I've torn down a lot more layouts than I've finished...& evrything is recycled. Right now, I'm building a layout with my kid with lumber that I've had longer than I've had HER!
    Rory,
    Don't forget...one thing that really adds some realism to any stand of trees is one or two dead ones. I bet if you pull those seed pods off that armature you have, you'd have a great looking bare tree. Another good thing to do when making a model forest is to include lots of dense undergrowth around the bases of the trees. If the wiewer can't see through the trees, it adds depth, & the illusion that the "forest" is a lot bigger than it really is.
    Otherwise, "you can't see the forest for the trees"! :D :D
    (sorry, I couldn't resist that one!)
  17. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I think the Douglas Pines that Shamus is building look suspiciously like the new growth out of the top of the wife's Norfolk Pine?

    What say Shamus??

    Bob
  18. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Yeah, Charlie, I threw in some dead trees from a WS kit I got for Christmas. I took one and strung some of that polyfiber foliage stuff up it to make it look like it had been strangled by a vine. That's a really great idea, though, for these "weed" trees. The "armatures" look very realistic. They are textured and are noticeably thicker at the bases than the ends of the limbs.

    -Rory
  19. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Now Bob, don't go gettin' Shamus in trouble, ya hear? If his wife finds out what happened to the Norfolk Island Pine, she might not let him play with us anymore! :)

    -Rory
  20. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hey Rory,
    There's a neat little trick I learned to do with that poly fiber, that makes great looking bushes, undergrowth, foliage, etc...
    Pull some of the fiber into whatever size "clump" you want, then spray it with some flat black spray paint. (a pair of tweezers, or pliers are good for holding it) While the paint is still wet, roll the clump around in some ground foam...
    The paint not only acts as an adhesive, but also gives the look of deep shadow inside the foliage.

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