Your Tallest Tree

mightypurdue22 Feb 24, 2006

  1. mightypurdue22

    mightypurdue22 TrainBoard Member

    What is your tallest tree on your N Scale layout? I'm looking at some of the ready-mades, and thinking 5" just seems a little big. My layout is 36" x 80", and I think a 5" tree may start to look out of scale.

    My guess is I'll stop at 4" height (which is about 52' in scale), but I'm curious as to what height others have. I know oaks and sycamores can reach 80' height.
  2. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

    You're right about the height of the trees being undersized in N SCale. I also stopped at about 4", mainly because after that the trees are actually HO scale trees and do not have enough detail. Your eyes can then tell they are fake.
  3. dstuard

    dstuard TrainBoard Member

    There's a lot of "wiggle room" in tree height.

    I find 4" is plenty to convey the feeling of a substantial tree. One or two of those in a scene is generally enough.

    Plus, in the background you can use selective compression and get away with 2 to 3 inchers (depending on type).
  4. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    I use 4 inches as the maximum height ofr a tree in N scale.

    Most of the trees on the JJJ&E are about 3- 3 1/2 inches tall.

    Some of the pines are 4 inches.

    Stay cool and run steam.... [​IMG] :cool: :cool:
  5. daniel_leavitt2000

    daniel_leavitt2000 TrainBoard Member

    I model New England, and generally we have pretty tall trees up here. I actually measured random trees (and underbrush) at a state park a few years ago and found most viewable trees are about 60-85' tall. The rest is obscured by the canopy.

    I would consider these to be the typical "model" tree; little visable trunk, about 50' tall, looks a bit "planted"

    But real trees (most anyway) tower over the landscape. They comand a presence that makes us cringe when we hear an old tree creak in the wind.

    This was my attempt to model the long needle pine:

    I'm not all that happy with it. There is a new article on making conifers in this month's issue of RMC that looks promising, but it is another attempt at another short needle pine... sigh.

    Personally, I like trees that overpower the model. We know our models are small, right? Why not use that to our advantage I say. Here is one of my C40-8Ws climbing Washington hill:

    It has sort of a peek-a-boo scenery that us railfans have to deal with on the prototype.

    This isn't a very good shot, hopefully I will have a new modual to shoot from soon. Again, I frame the loco with the trees. Since we are at eye level, true scale trees are needed to keep the scene from becoming too bald.

    The foreground trees are about 5" tall, the backround range from 4-7"

    In reality, trees can somtimes cover the overhead of a right-of-way altogeather. This abandoned tunnel disapears with summer foliage.
  6. NP/GNBill

    NP/GNBill TrainBoard Supporter

    I usually use 3-4" trees. Here in Eureka, the tallest trees are over 300' tall, California redwoods:)
  7. Jay Gould

    Jay Gould TrainBoard Member

    I've seen it pointed out in the past that modelers generally don't have realistically tall trees on layouts, but I think the point is correct that a 6' tall tree would tend to "overpower" the models.

    With landscapes, though, the opposite is true. One of the great advantages of N scale is that you can actually build terrain that tends to "dwarf" a train passing through it, and this has a very positive effect---BUT, on the other hand, no matter how big you make a mountain, there isn't the possibility of even coming close to the proportions of actual, real mountains.
  8. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

    My layout is 36" x 86"-- six inches longer than mightpurdue22's. But I think a 6" tree is about right for my average. (The real trees in area I model are 100-120.)

  9. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

    That is a very convincing town at the edge of a forest. Nicely done!
  10. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

    The pines in this picture range from 2 1/2 - 6" . I try to use the larger towards the outer edge of the mountain Helix and smaller as they go to the back of the mountain. My forground decidious trees range from 1-5" depending on the type of trees.



    BALOU LINE TrainBoard Member

    It greatly depends on the type of trees. My prototype area is in the worlds largest stand of Ponderosa pines (Coconino National Forest) which easily reach over 180' tall. The trees on my layout are grossly undersized. Can you imagine having trees a foot tall on a layout? I might have to use O scale or something! :eek:
  12. beast5420

    beast5420 TrainBoard Member

    I think balou is onto it. Look at where you're modeling, then go from there. on my home road, the trees will be up to 80' tall (i'm basing it on sw missouri area). where i live now in central okla, most trees are 40' max unless you are in the river bottom, or in town.

    my 2ยข

  13. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    At least 5 inches, maybe higher. When I or Jeanne plant a tree at the bottom of a slope, it could be 6 inches. But then I have a LOT of space--over 300 square feet of table.
  14. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    That's alot of trees to plant to fill that space.

    Stay cool and run steam..... [​IMG] :cool: :cool:
  15. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    Yes, it is. But we use a lot of native plants--yarrow, sedum, snakepalnt, oregano flowers--so it isn't too bad. We bought seven huge bags of lichen at a florist supply shop, at about 1/100 the cost of retail Woodland Scenics stuff.

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