My favorite trees, at my favorite cost (basically free)
California is full of oak trees. I grew up exploring these hills, so I guess I have an affinity for them. Fortunately, modeling a home town railroad means modeling home town scenery, so I will have a layout covered in these trees. I don't know the actual special of these oak trees, but I took these pictures of the hillsides that surround the Salinas Valley, home to the PVCRR.
These hills are located to the south west of the Spreckels Sugar Refinery.
Even the sparse hillside above has about a dozen trees of various sizes. While it would be possible to purchase premade trees for a scene like this, the cost would be considerable. Even kit trees, while less expensive, would still be costly.
A few years back, I discovered an online tutorial for making what I consider high quality, very inexpensive, oak trees. Rather than steal the content, I'll link to the video -
M.C. Fujiwara created a very detailed, professional, tutorial on how to make oak trees from stranded electrical wire, sawdust, poly fill, and ground cover. I had all of this on hand, in some for or another, so I imagine you might as well. The link above takes you to the abridged version, there is also a longer three part series that goes into more detail. From what I can tell, he lives in California, so I feel comfortable using his method while making my mighty oaks.
An oak tree I made following the tutorial above.