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Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Last fall 2006, I was walking through the parking lot of the grocery store, across from my store... Well, what did my wondering eyes behold!? A waist high shrub/bush, full of perfect trees for my layout. The landscape of the stripmall complex was filled with literally million of trees that would work great on my various layouts. So after work I grabbed a trash bag and my trusty pocket knife and proceded to fill the bag, quickly under the cover of night.:cool: When I got home and had time to examine my booty, I found a treasuretrove of wealth!
Just this afternoon I was walking by the same plants and noticed that the early fall foliage was even nicer. The plants still had the little flowerettes still attached to them. All I would have to do is pluck off the out of scale leaves and dip them in a Modge Podge solution to set them for life. I might add a little Woodland Scenics ground foam to add variety. But they are pretty good fresh off the plant.
I am not sure what kind of plant they are, the garden guru at my store thinks it's call Sedom(sp?).

Here's a few I just ramdomly grabbed out of the bag from last fall.
View attachment 7371

Here's a close-up of one of the taller stalks I cut. You can see it just over 1ft., but this could easily be modified.
View attachment 7372

These are from this afternoon. You can see the extra foliage on them from the flowerettes. The flowers were bright pink when they were in bloom all summer. Now that fall is approaching, they have turned brown.
View attachment 7373

Here's a medium sized one about 9" once put into the ground of the layout.
View attachment 7374

So, what do you guys think? Worth the free price tag? I think so. I might have to bag these things up and Ebay them...Hmmm:rolleyes: .


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
I'm going to use these branches just as the armature. I'll be adding foam and WS fiber mesh. I'll experiment with different combos and post pix of results.


Fun Lover
I saw a lot of sedium when I was in New Jersey. It was being used as an ornamental along the walkways. I got a bunch and transplanted it. It is very hardy and can be split in the spring two double your source. IT also grows along the road (and along the tracks by my railfan spot.) This is a little early to harvest, but in a month or so it will be ready. Then you want to hang it upside down and dry it over the winter.

I spray them with cheap hair spray and coat them with different colors of ground foam. I use dark green medium green and ground brown. (I don't know what colors they have on the bottles.0






Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
My Bad!
I said it was Sedium, but actually it's called Spirea

This is what it looks like in the parking lot. It looks like it has a little more detail to the branch structures than sedium. I think I found a gold mine here.

I'll try to spray some later today with hairspray and WS foam. post pix afterwards.

grove den

naturally natural trees
Yes!:) those plants are great specialy in Ho scale. We use them a lot overhere. Specialy for the background trees and to make forests..
I think you saw this sort/kind of Spirea:
You can preserve the twigs/branches in a bucket or so with white glue/water mix( 1/3- 2/3) for a day or to.
For the best/must detailed results try to remove the tiny flowers , only them!'
before they will put in the glue/water mix.
if the future trees are dry, add some .only the outside of the tree, grassfibers (glue them with aerosolglue or matte vernis)NOT TO MUCH !!! and THAN sprinkle some fine turf or some coarse turf to immitate the leafs...
just try to find out what looks the best for you!( technic and results..;)



Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
I finally got around to taking some pictures of the trees a made from the Spirea branches. The newest branches, with the flowerettes on them, I just prayed with cheap VO-5 hair spray and sprinkled them with fine and medium ground foam. Some of the branches from last winter, with no flowers on them, I teased out some Woodland Scenics polyfiber and them sprinkled the foam on. Some other variety of weed branches I had collected had a more conical shape to them. I just sprayed and dipped them and shook them around a bucket of foam.

The first tree is the flowerette covered one.
View attachment 7541

Here's another of the same tree.
View attachment 7542

This is a branch armature covered with teased polyfiber and ground foam. Front lit.
View attachment 7543

The same tree back lit
View attachment 7544

After looking at these pix, I think I'll tease out the polyfiber a little thinner. I also think a lighter coating of foam is in order to get a more see-through look to the leaves.

I'm going to find time to take individual shots of the trees so you can see the shapes and colors more clearly.

Doing this just makes me appreciate the quality of work that Groveden achieves with his trees... Bravo man.


Fleeing from Al
Those spirea trees look really good. I do think I'd try just using some blended turf and foam clusters on a tree without the polyfiber and see if that gives the trees a more open look. I've been using that on my Crape Myrtle trees with some sucess.

Another wild plant to keep an eye out for is yarrow. It has a canopy tree-like shape and dries with the blossoms intact. A little paint and some ground foam and you've a good background tree. If you can't find yarrow growing, you can usually find it at reasonable prices at places like Michael's.


Southern Railway lives on
Those are some mighty fine trees you have there. I also found a really good plant, but I can't remember the name. It looks like the plant that spacemouse posted, might even be the same thing. I tried to grow the plant again, but it didn't take and died.


grove den

naturally natural trees
Hi Ron,

Like the trees you've made a lot! =)
I do make them the same way , specialy when I have to make a forrest!
I think I'll tease out the polyfiber a little thinner. I also think a lighter coating of foam
: just do that! Try out what you like the best!
But remember, in this case, does the light always come from behind or in front of you on a mrr layout?( back lit) Just imagine you are in a balloon at about 150 feet high...trees sometimes look dense! Watch pictures on internet taking from airplanes/balloons/towers etc...




Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
PA Steam, 1st off... nice name.:cool: Your call sign emblem ain't to bad neither.:D

Yeah, I think these trees will do just fine on the layout my Dad and I are building. Very eastern PA.

Here's the tree after I put some on the small 4x4' layout I built with my daughter. It's the first time I put tree on it, and boy what an improvement.

Here's a few shots.
This is just an overall view of the layout. Remember it's only 4x4'.
View attachment 7804

The next one is of the small engine house that's on the layout.
The trees really frame in and add a lot of realism to the photo.
View attachment 7805

This is a shot of the top of the river and the coal tipple. All of the structures are from an old layout I had as a young kid and early teenager. Yes, I safe almost everything.
View attachment 7806

Here's a higher view of the river area. I do need a lot more trees surrounding the head of the river. I envision it as a dense forest with the river coming out of it. A lot of trees is no problem since they are almost free!:D
View attachment 7807

There's a few more on the next post.


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Here's a few pix of the station area.

The first one is a nice shot showing off the station I built when I was 12 or 13. Yes, it's the old classic Atlas station. The trees look nice around the layout. I'm very pleased with the results.
View attachment 7808

This is almost the same shot, but the camera was angled a little more up. The cameras auto coloring adjust made the picture look like it was photo shop with the SEPIA feature. I'm not sure how it made it so yellow, but it's a neat look I think.
View attachment 7809

Well, I like the way the trees turn out. So I need to bang out about 2,000 more... I sure hope the shopping center across from my store doesn't notice a few dozen bushes missing.:p :D

grove den

naturally natural trees
Trees ARE lookin good Ron!!
It is always a kind of "metmorphose" when trees are planted/placed on a layout!!>>they are realy looking good =))<<
I sure hope the shopping center across from my store doesn't notice a few dozen bushes missing.
don't worry!! next year it will grow just the size as it had this year..may be even bigger becaus you cut it back that is what it makes growing and flowering bigger and taller!!
Like the 4x4 layout!!
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