Saturday, 17 June 2017

Starting a tree for the San Franciscan's front yard

I want a big tree in the front yard of the San Franciscan. You can't really find big trees in 1:12 scale on the market. But some talented miniaturists over on the Greenleaf Forums have made some wonderful ones.
I researched different methods and the most common one is to create a wire armature, cover it with putty or clay and sculpt/carve branches and bark features. I'm not sure I was up for that kind of work with potentially questionable results 😜, so I started looking for other options. Some people use a suitable branch from their yard. Price is right, but I'm not sure it would be very sturdy. I could see a klutz like me breaking my little branches at the first opportunity.

I went to the Spotlight fake flower department and found these branches usually used in home decor.... they looked like they might work (they have quite a convincing finish, even a little bit of moss/lichen on the branches.) but a bit sparse. So I bought 4 of them as they were on sale, planning to combine them for a fuller tree. As you can see above I've wired them together strategically to create a full looking branch structure.

Just a thin wire will do like this one which is .0200 diameter alloy wire. I found mine in the garage... sorry DH. :)

Now how to cover the trunk?

I tried spackle mixed with glue and water (first coat above) to give a thinner consistency, but this crumbled almost immediately.

While I gave that some thought I tried the tree on for size.

Hmmm.. might be a bit big!😂

And the trunk is too thin and long... I'll need to cut this down a bit and also possibly trim the branches as the tree currently has a humongous canopy!.. I wanted a large shady canopy but this one might be too much. 😊 But that's ok, I'll be able to glue the off-cuts back onto the tree to fill in any empty areas.

I think I will move the tree slightly back towards the house also, I would like to put a bench under the front of the tree. But currently there isn't enough room on the landscaping board.


  1. I like where you're heading with this! It's going to add so much stature and a sense of history to the fine old house!

  2. Thanks Jodi.. that's what I'm hoping for.. we'll see if I can pull it off. :)

  3. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing. Here in Alaska there are many different trees I could use for this idea... I guess tomorrow will be a Wilderness Walk !

    1. Thank you.. I hope you find some good twigs on your walk.. I'm sure you have an abundance in Alaska! :)