Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Sedum, Goldenrod... Natural tree armatures?

10466 views
21 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 3,362 posts
Sedum, Goldenrod... Natural tree armatures?
Posted by cowman on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 8:46 PM

Couple of questions on preparing natural materials for best results.

1.  When do you harvest sedum?  I got some from the nursury where I got my plants, they had been outside all winter and they appear to be ready to go.  I harvested some off my first plant after sitting out all winter, pretty beat up.  Should I cut them in as soon as they drydown?

2.  I have seen posts with photos of goldenrod that appear to have been harvested with the "fuzz" still on the heads, others looked like it was off.  First ones I did were after the "fuzz" was off, they are still hanging from last year, some straightened out others seemed to hold shape.  Suggestions!

3.  Can anyone help me identify steeple bush?  I have seen it finished and on a layout, but darned if I can figure out what the bush looks like to get it from.

4.  Do you do anything to preserve natural materials after they are once dry?

Thank you,

Tags: Plant , Scenery
  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • 947 posts
Posted by HHPATH56 on Thursday, September 17, 2009 2:12 AM
I am at the point of asking the same question. How about pepperwart or sage brush ? I purchases a clump of Super trees in a bag from the local LHS. I would suggest that you soak the dry weeds, so that they are not so brittle. You only need trees with multi-branches for foreground trees. For background trees I use double ended toothpicks for the trunks and stain them in bulk. I use circles cut from cheap furnace filters, that have been torn into three layers and sprayed with dark green or black. The scraps make good toppings for the trees. After pushing 5-6 circles onto the toothpicks, I then spray them with adhesive and shake then in a bag of fine (or medium) varied colored green WS foam, for summer trees and Fall colored foam for Fall trees. One can glue WS foam clumps to steep hillsides. This makes a costwise solution to a canopy of hundreds of trees. Bob Hahn
  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • 1,205 posts
Posted by grizlump9 on Thursday, September 17, 2009 2:57 AM

 the old timers used to soak lichen in glycerine to preserve it and keep it from drying out.  don't see why that wouln't work with other plant materials.

grizlump

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 15,068 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, September 17, 2009 6:17 AM

I harvested Sedum in the fall, before the snow.  They held up well, and I kept the foliage on them.  I sprayed them a dark green, and then hand-painted the lower trunks gray.  This is the top of one of them:

I used a piece of dark green floral wire to support the Preiser hawk.

This is an older shot of some of these trees in another location:

I like the way these have come out.  I use them as "canopy" trees, with some lower Woodland Scenics trees below them.

On the downside, though, these now seem to be getting kind of fragile.  The foliage, which is fine as long as it doesn't get handled, will fall off easily, and some of the stems have broken.  One of these days, I'll try adding flocking or other different forms of "leaves" to see if I can end up with a more "robust" tree.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: On the Banks of the Great Choptank
  • 2,916 posts
Posted by wm3798 on Friday, September 18, 2009 3:05 PM

 I let mine dry out to a light brown before I pluck them.  I could probably do it sooner and just let them dry out in the garage.

Lee

Route of the Alpha Jets  www.wmrywesternlines.net

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 19,748 posts
Posted by selector on Friday, September 18, 2009 5:13 PM

The bare armature you see to the right of the tunnel portal is a piece of a sage brush branch.  I can get oodles of it twice a year when I visit my in-laws in the semi-arid central interior of BC.

The image was for a photo contest on-line showing winter trees. 

 

-Crandell

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • 529 posts
Posted by RFinch on Friday, September 18, 2009 7:30 PM

 In his recent video on scenery, Vol. 5, Part 2, Joe Fugate describes how he soaks Super Trees from Scenic Express in a mixture of 1 part matte medium to 5 parts water for 2-3 minutes to toughen them up so they do not break as easily.  My guess is that this would work for sedum as well, especially if you let them soak for a little longer to allow the mixture to penetrate the thicker stems of the sedum.

 If you want to try glycerin to keep the sedum from becoming brittle, I would suggest that you find a chemical supplier that will sell you commercial grade glycerin in quart or gallon bottles.  The glycerin you may be able buy at your local pharmacy is too pure and expensive and usually comes in only small bottles.  One source that you might try is www.chemistrystore.com  Search for glycerin on their website.  They sell it in 1 quart bottles for $11.00 plus S&H or 1 gallon bottles for $27.05 plus S&H.  If you really need a lot, they have it in 5 gallon pails for $127.50 or 55 gallon drums for $1,173.00.

Does any one know of a commercial source of sage brush branches.  I don't think it grows in the eastern part of the US.

Crandell,  Great winter scene of diesel coming out of tunnel.  What did you use to create the very realistic snow in the scene?

Bob

  • Member since
    May, 2007
  • From: East Haddam, CT
  • 3,192 posts
Posted by CTValleyRR on Friday, September 18, 2009 7:57 PM

I harvest mine in late October after they have dried on the bush.  I leave the little florets in place as a base for the foliage.

I don't treat them with anything in particular, but over the course of applying foliage, they get a good dousing in diluted matte medium.  I leave them their natural color, but paint the florets with a dark green watercolor paint.

Unmodified, they make a great canopy tree, where the lower branches have died off due to lack of sun.  For a free-standing tree, I add a few branches (from another sedum flower) to fill out the tree.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 19,748 posts
Posted by selector on Saturday, September 19, 2009 12:40 AM

Thanks, Bob.  It is Woodland Scenics "Snow" in the large plastic bottle, the same ones as for their ground foam and ballast.  It was easy to vacuum up afterwards.

-Crandell

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • 830 posts
Posted by saronaterry on Saturday, September 19, 2009 6:29 PM

I use goldenrod. It grows profusly up here. Looks like this in the fall when I cut it:

 

Looks like this after trimming:

I hit it with hunter green spray paint and ground foam/ dyed sawdust mix:

 

 

These are ready for planting:

 

Terry

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • From: Enfield, CT
  • 924 posts
Posted by Doc in CT on Saturday, September 19, 2009 8:26 PM

 Any thought to using gray deck stain to preserve the plant material?  Most trees I see are more gray than brown.

Co-owner of the proposed CT River Valley RR (HO scale) http://home.comcast.net/~docinct/CTRiverValleyRR/

  • Member since
    May, 2007
  • From: East Haddam, CT
  • 3,192 posts
Posted by CTValleyRR on Sunday, September 20, 2009 5:24 PM

Doc in CT

 Any thought to using gray deck stain to preserve the plant material?  Most trees I see are more gray than brown.

Sure, but why would you?  Deck stain is REALLY expensive, and generally a real mess to apply.  Anyway, sedum cures to a weathered gray which stands in for bark perfectly.  If anything, I'd use a clear sealer rather than pigmented stain.

But I'll second your gray tree opinion.  I can see a couple of hundred trees from where I sit, and not one of them looks brown.  They're all hardwoods (oak, elm, maple, tulip, and some hemlocks), and they're all gray as an elephant's backside.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: On the Banks of the Great Choptank
  • 2,916 posts
Posted by wm3798 on Monday, September 21, 2009 9:32 AM

 Here's my technique, as described on my website.  Hope you find it useful.

Lee

Route of the Alpha Jets  www.wmrywesternlines.net

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: cincinnati ohio
  • 89 posts
Posted by kain687 on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 6:39 AM

i have another way to make trees cheep. i went to a craft store and bought a dried plant. there isnt a name on the bag so i dont know what the name of it is but its white and on the ends has little whit balls on it and when you look at the ends of the "stalk" looks like minicher branches. i got that for like 3 bucks  then i bought light green die for another 3 bucks and some brown spray paint.  for the next part youll need to gather up some saw dust you can eather cut you own wood or find some where that would have it ie. a lumber yard, furnicher craftsmans place.

 so any way take the saw dust die it green. take the branches of the plant i dont have a name for and paint them brown once all of that is dry take the branches and bundle them together untill you have what looks like the fram of a tree and glue the bass to make the trunk. next dip the ends of branches in a 50/50 mix of white glue then roll it around in  the dryed died saw dust. there you go one cheep tree the nice part is that you can make alot of trees for the price of 3 or 4 at the hobbie shop.

one more thing . the little balls on the ends of the plant i dont have the name for (i'll find the name and recoment on your question) you can eather pick them off or you can leave them . i leave them on so that i have more area to glue to. or you can pant them red to make appel trees

kain
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 3,400 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 7:39 AM

saronaterry

 

Terry

 

 

WHERE did you find that giant rake!?!?! Big Smile

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • 830 posts
Posted by saronaterry on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 5:10 AM

Walthers item # 152-647.They have everything!!Laugh

Terry

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • From: Enfield, CT
  • 924 posts
Posted by Doc in CT on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 8:18 AM

 Had to double check "Sedum" on-line; I have been collecting some for a few years from the square yard of Sedum Autumn Joy that grows (and expands) every year in the plantings.  Always thought they are good source for tall trees (edge of forest or cleared land).

Lee's (wm3798) technique above is worth a read; thanks Lee.

 As to deck stain CTValley, I have a gallon left over that will not be used; thought it might help penetrate stems and add some preserving qualities, plus change color to more grey.  Agree that Sedum as a nice color as is.

Co-owner of the proposed CT River Valley RR (HO scale) http://home.comcast.net/~docinct/CTRiverValleyRR/

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 3,362 posts
Posted by cowman on Thursday, February 04, 2010 8:56 AM

Another post having problems finding a sedum for trees article.  Went to my archives and pulled this one up for him.  Don't know if it is the one they are after or not.  Mr B has some nice pictures, as does Terry.

Thanks to all that responded.

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 3,400 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Thursday, February 04, 2010 1:26 PM

saronaterry

Walthers item # 152-647.They have everything!!Laugh

Terry

Aw, Terry, you were "funnin' " me.. that's a fire station...Cowboy

  • Member since
    April, 2007
  • 93 posts
Posted by Wayzata Modeler on Thursday, February 04, 2010 1:45 PM

 

I much prefer Nepeta (catmint)  specific variety:  Morton's Low

I use the dried head after the seed pods have dropped off.  2 or 3 stems bunched together, sprayed with hairspray, then covered with a fine woodland scenics grass mixture - makes a great conifer.

 

  • Member since
    December, 2009
  • 82 posts
Posted by mkepler954 on Sunday, September 30, 2012 9:42 PM

Try this place for glycerin too.  It's $27 for a gallon including shipping:

www.bulkapothecary.com 

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: ARCH CITY
  • 1,688 posts
Posted by tomkat-13 on Monday, October 01, 2012 6:10 PM

I pick during the winter. Spay with cheap hair spay then coat with ground foam mix. Best to plant in odd number groups (looks more natural) & away from the edge as they tend to be brittle.

I model MKT & CB&Q in Missouri. A MUST SEE LINK: Great photographs from glassplate negatives of St Louis 1914-1917!!!! http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/kempland/glassplate.htm Boeing Employee RR Club-St Louis http://www.berrc-stl.com/

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!
Popular on ModelRailroader.com
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook

Loading...