Trees, Yet Again!

Sorry for another post about trees so soon, but I had to share these ones.

I had read about using sagebrush twigs as model tree stems and tried to find an inexpensive source of twigs. All the commercial sources I could find were quite expensive. Then, one day I read a message from a guy in British Columbia who offered to send some twigs to someone else for the cost of shipping. I quickly shot him off an email asking if he’d consider the same for me. He said he would. A few weeks later a very large box arrived at my door full of fresh picked sagebrush twigs. The cost of shipping? Only $15!!

I made a few trees with them shortly after they arrived. Being the nice guy I am they ended up near a river scene on Derwin’s layout – Canadisle Rail.

Considering I’ve been on a tree making binge the last couple weeks it was inevitable I’d pull out a few more of those twigs. When you start making a tree you never really know what it will look like in the end. I’m always surprised that they rarely look like I picture them at the start of the process. They always look good, but not like I imagined.

These newest sagebrush trees completely floored me when I finally got the leaves on them. So much so that I’m not sure if I’ll risk taking them to the Truro show. Brian was in for a visit the other evening and his comment was that they were the closest thing to a real tree he’s ever seen. I hope you agree.

I used the same process that I use for all my deciduous trees. The only thing different about these is the realism of the stem and the branching structure.


No Responses to “Trees, Yet Again!”

  1. Doug Whitman says:


    Do you have a picture of just the branch work?


  2. Wayne Woodland says:

    Hi Scott
    Great looking trees. Cant beat the price for the armatures!!! I have just started a blog last week – the addy is – not much on it yet, but I am going to try to post often and keep it up to date.See you at the Truro show next weekend??? Cheers

    Wayne Woodland

  3. Scott says:

    Doug, do you mean a close up of the branches, or the process of making the trees?

    Wayne, I checked out your site – it looks great. Your layout is looking very good too! Can’t wait for my next trip to Halifax!

  4. Doug Whitman says:


    Before you added the poly


  5. Scott says:

    I’ll see what I can do to get a picture of the sagebrush branches this week, as well as some close-ups of the other tree forms I use.

  6. Alex says:

    I love your work! Those are some of the most realistic trees I’ve ever seen made from scratch in HO scale. What kind of materials do you use for the leaves.

    Also, do you by any change happen to know the contact information for the Man in British Columbia who sent you the sagebrush?

    Thanks for your help and keep up the great work!

    Thanks for the comment Alex!

    I use sagebrush and other natural plants, like dried false spirea flowers, for the tree “armature” or main trunk. Then I tease out small pieces of Woodland Scenics polyfiber as I can get it and glue this over the ends of the side branches with a small amount of white glue (PVA). I have used cheap hairspray in the past to attach the leaf material, but I have been using clear mat acylic spray cans (Varathane) the lat year or so. It seems to hold the leaf material better, especially when I transport the trees to be used on our FreeMo modules at shows. The leaf material is Selkirk Scenery fine leaves. But I’ve had a hard time connecting with Bill Kerr to get them. I’m going to try some Noch leaves this winter. They look just as good and are more readily available.

    I’m sorry I can’t remember the guy that sent me the last batch of Sagebrush. I lost most of my email contacts in a move from a previous job. I thought I had everything copied, but I missed some. Have you tried making a request on the tree-making Yahoo Group? That’s how I made that contact.

    Thanks again for the comment. If I can be of any assistance just let me know.


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