Aspen Trees???

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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Anyone have any suggestions on how to make Aspens? Fall in the Colorado Rockies requires aspens... :D Any tips would be apprieciated. :)
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Fall in the Colorado Rockies requires aspens
Seem to me a way, way back MR had an article on doing just that, I believe there was somewhere you could purchase the bags of leaves for them then paint them individually (sounds labour intensive) I forget what they used for the tree armatures. I'll see if I can find the article.
Cheers!! Willis
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Thanks guys. Looks like I've got some reading to do. I'd love to know what issue that article was in, Willis. I've looked thru our back issues (to the mid 90's) and didn't find an aspen specific articles. Thanks for looking for it.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Ok ya'll. How about an honest opinion of this one? I just made it. Sorry I've been so long getting back to this. We've been to busy working on loco lights with tweezers and a magnifying glass... ;)

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jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
NICE! Like the fall colors, I can't decide if I want fall colors on my photo diorama(s) or snow? Or maybe a mix...? Humm now there's a thought.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
Tree looks great Grande Man! I love the trunk...mind me asking how you made it?

jbaakko said:
NICE! Like the fall colors, I can't decide if I want fall colors on my photo diorama(s) or snow? Or maybe a mix...? Humm now there's a thought.
I'll be glad to provide prototype photos in a few weeks :rolleyes: lol

Actually we haven't had much precipitation this summer, so I doubt we'll see a break in that trend anytime soon. A few years ago we had a terrible ice storm while all the trees still had their leaves (in great colors, nonetheless)...lost lots of branches and a 40' tree in the backyard. :(
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I'm gonna check out the starting colors when I go home next week, but I'll be up for first few showfalls in pics ;)
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I really like the tree, but :D it seems kind of more filled out, than the pictures of Aspens I could dredge up on the net. However most photos on the net seem to show only the trunk and the bark and not much of the foilage. I guess the bark and lots of trunks are the attraction. Another thing I noticed is the Aspen looks similar to the Paper Birch we have around here, but unlike the Aspen they are not very straight, and seem to grow in clumps choking themselves off. In any case your's is a fine looking tree with realistic coloring. If you decide you don't want it I'll take it off your hands with any others you are unsure of. ;)

Willis
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
sushob said:
Tree looks great Grande Man! I love the trunk...mind me asking how you made it?
You bet! Here we go...

Total time to make an aspen is probably less than 10 minutes (not counting paint drying time). The only cost involved is a cheap can of spray paint and the Woodland Scenics foliage material.

Friend and fellow board member cjcresent turned me on to a local plant called Oakleaf Hydrangea. http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/131/ While he may not have had aspens in mind, I've adapted the plant to meet the need. Oakleaf Hydrangea grows in the wild around here and on a recent railfan trip at our hunting lease, cjcresent pointed it out to me. Thanks CJ! The best time to harvest it is now, as the branches are dried on the plant and ready for use.

If you can't get the Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hobby Lobby has a variety of commercially available, prepackaged products that would probably work just as well for very reasonable prices.

Oakleaf Hydrangea, the "raw" tree material. Trim all the leaves and buds/seeds off.
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After the excess material is removed, paint the tree flat white (off white would be even better).
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Using white floral tape (Hobby Lobby, .67 cents a roll), tape the trunk in overlapping layers. The tape is like wax impregnated crepe paper and is best applied while stretched tightly. If done correctly, seems will be all but invisible. One roll of tape will do MANY trees.
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Add the bark markings with a black Crayon. It's best if the Crayon is sharpened with a razor blade. Make the markings radom in nature.
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Using Woodland Scenics Early Fall Foliage, carefully stretch the material and tear it into small, manageable pieces. This material reminds me a cross between pillow stuffing and furnace filter. When applying the foliage, keep in mind that real trees are airy and can be seen thru at spots. Ideally, you want to be able to see traces of the branch structure and upper trunk and backdrop when applied.
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And now for the fun part, the planted fall aspen on the layout!
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