These aren't the most impressive trees individually, but they are so cheap and quick to make, that you can put hundreds of them on the table. In large numbers, they look good.
These are made from old artificial Christmas trees. I found both types abandoned, behind houses in Newcastle. Luckily, I am never without my Leatherman pliers, which have wire cutters on them, and I was able to cut myself a lot of trees. Each tree is the end of one branch of an artificial tree. One of the two trees I found smelled strongly of dog piss, and so I washed the cuttings thoroughly with shampoo, before working on them.
Cut the tree slightly longer/taller than you want it to be. Trim the artificial needles at the bottom/root end of the tree off. Wrap masking tape around the trimmed length and paint it brown, to represent tree trunk. Bend the end of the wire (which forms the cores of the artificial tree's branches) into a right-angle.
The tree can now be based. I cut out blob-shapes of card, and took blobs of air-drying clay (such as Das) and set the trees in the blobs, on the card bases. The bend in the wire gives the clay something to hang on to. The clay does not stick to the card very fastly, so when the clay had dried, I made the join stronger with PVA glue. Next, I mixed up some wall-filler (quite runny), including some brown poster paint in the mix (remember that it will always dry a paler colour than you mix), and painted the bases with this, using it to fill any gaps. When this was dry, I glued on some wheat flock with PVA in uneven patches. Trees often have patches with little or no greenery under them, where the trees have shaded the earth. Since the tree bases are never likely to match what they are standing on perfectly, I prefer them to look a bit too barren than a bit too lush.
These trees can be trimmed to a point, like the large example on the left, or left untrimmed, as on the right.
These are very easy to store, because they are so robust. One can just chuck them in a box on top of each other. I use these more than any of my other trees because of this convenience.
Incidentally, the needles on the type illustrated on the left, make very good aerials for model tanks (see my Churchill models).
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