Trees (or the lack thereof) can either make or break the finished appearance of a model railroad. Unfortunately, being a natural creation, they can be difficult to get right – infinitely more difficult than man-made objects such as trains and structures. Furthermore, they are usually required in considerable numbers as even a small layout (or a small wooded area in the corner of a larger layout) can consume a surprising number of miniature trees, making their construction a daunting task for the layout builder.
Many modelers shy away from making trees for these or other reasons, although commercial, “ready-to-plant” trees are available from a variety of sources. There are many cheap imported plastic trees available, but they will always look like what they are – cheap plastic toys – and improving them can be even more time consuming than building trees from scratch. At the other end of the spectrum, there are some good-looking trees available from the big-name scenery suppliers in the hobby – but to cover even a few square feet of railroad with these manufacturers’ trees would require a second mortgage. If you have been searching for good-looking affordable trees, congratulations, you have now found them.
Presenting “Superior Trees”
My trees are handmade by me right here in the United States. I do not out-source any part of the process. At present, only conifers are available, but I plan to broaden the range as time and resources permit.
Superior Trees are built with the discerning modeler in mind and feature:
Superior Trees are currently available in five sizes.
“Small” trees are approximately 3-4” in height with an 1/8" diameter trunk.
“Medium” trees are approximately 5-6” in height with a 3/16" diameter trunk.
“Large” trees are approximately 7-8” in height with a 1/4" diameter trunk.
“Extra-large” trees are approximately 9-10” in height with a 5/16" diameter trunk.
"Jumbo" trees are approximately 11-12" in height with a 3/8" diameter trunk.
Additionally, I can make them in other sizes to suit your specifications.
Please note that these sizes are only approximate. Every batch of trees ordered will include trees of differing heights (just like the real thing). I start with a trunk approximately half an inch longer than the nominal tree height. In some cases, the end will break off during the shaping process, resulting in a slightly shorter tree, while some trees end up with a crown that extends significantly above the tip of the trunk. Lastly, the finished height of any tree will depend somewhat on how deeply it gets planted in the scenery.
When deciding what size of tree to order, don’t forget that in the real world, a typical wooded area will contain different sized trees, ranging from new growth to mature specimens. Remember, every 100’ tree was once a 20’ tree, and before that, a 5’ tree, so even if you model in a larger scale, don’t overlook the need for some small trees to help make the large trees look right.
I invite you to compare the photos of my trees with the best offerings from the big-name suppliers, and with the real thing. I think you will find the comparison both favorable and affordable. A forest of our Superior Trees may set you back about as much as a high-end locomotive, but consider this… Even the best locomotive can only improve the look of one train, while Superior Trees will improve the look of every train that passes by.
Making a good thing even better
Superior trees now come in a choice of two varieties. Plain trunks are designed for planting in pre-drilled holes in any kind of scenery. “Easy plant” trunks are designed for use with soft-shell scenery such as carved foam – just push them in wherever you want them.
In most sizes, easy-plant trees have nails inserted into their bases. As the tree now sits on the scenery instead of in it, this results in a slightly taller average tree height. Because of the difficulty of end-drilling 1/8” dowels, small easy-plant trees do not have nails – they are instead pointed at the base.
Limited time only
With the success of my business resulting in ever-increasing demands on my time, I've decided to discontinue the easy-plant variety of trees. I've placed them on stock-control to prevent anyone ordering more than I have available. At the time of writing, I have 52 small, 23 medium, 74 large and 41 extra large easy-plant trees available for sale. When they are gone, they are gone and I will only be making the plain-trunk variety from now on.
Since some customers need many trees, they can sell out quickly - often before a batch is even available. Reserve them by clicking below.
Buy in bulk to get the best prices.