Need cactus, joshua trees and tumble weeds

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Doc Holliday

Gentleman Gambler
#1
I originally posted this question in the "How to make Trees and Scrubs" STICKY thread on 3/5/09 without realizing it was a STICKY thread. I didn't expect a big response but figured someone would have something to add. I'm hoping for a better response by posting a new topic.

I'm modeling the southwest desert so need bunches of saguaro cactus, joshua trees and tumble weeds. I know you can buy white metal saguaros, but has anybody ever made any of these?

Thanks for any info.
Doc
 

MGWSY

Active Member
#2
Go to Scenic Express and order their free Catalog #15. There are a lot of scenic items that you will interest you. I just recieved the 210 page catalog and there is a lot of stuff I want, LOL
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
#3
Doc, You can make reasonably good looking saguaro cactus using the smallest diameter florist's chenille, which you can get at any craft store. Tumbleweeds look exactly like lichen so just use small pieces with a branchy structure and paint them different colors from light green to gray. Correctly called Russian Thistle, they tend to grow in dense groups so you only have to make the outside portions look like tumbleweeds. The most common place to see them individually in the desert is when they have died off and been blown by the wind against buildings and fence lines. Those would all be very light gray.

I'd need to think about Joshua Trees. However, you would never see Joshua Trees and Saguaro's growing in the same area since the Joshua Tree only grows at 5,000 feet and above and Saguaro's only grow at 1,000 feet and below.
 

Doc Holliday

Gentleman Gambler
#4
However, you would never see Joshua Trees and Saguaro's growing in the same area since the Joshua Tree only grows at 5,000 feet and above and Saguaro's only grow at 1,000 feet and below.
Thanks for the suggestions. :) I'll look into them. As to not seeing them together, looks like someone forgot to tell either the cactus or the Joshua Trees. :D
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
#5
Doc, you're confusing the Mohave Red Yucca, that looks like this:



With the Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), that looks like this:



They both look somewhat similar but, in the second picture, it's the Mohave Red Yucca you're seeing among the Saguaro's, not a Joshua Tree. In the first picture, it's Jumping Cholla cactus, which really doesn't look like a Joshua Tree at all. Both the Mojave Red and the Jumping Cholla grow in the low deserts along with the Saguaro. Very few members of the cactus family grow at the same altitude of the Joshua Tree. The most likely plants to see in the high desert are sagebrush, greasewood, and creosote. Tumbleweed will grow almost anywhere so it's common to see it on both the low and high deserts.
 
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#6
ISTR that Plastruct do cactus Saguaro and Prickly pear - also a firm called Pegasus
see http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/scenery/cactus/. Another alternative is pipecleaners, bent, joined and painted. May also work for Joshua trees especially if covered in milliput or squadron white, and take a look in your locoal cheapy shop at artificial flowers. and find one with leaves of a suitable size that you can cut into star shapes and attach to the ends of the stems. Your local craft shop might have something suitable in the cardmaking dept.
 
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Doc Holliday

Gentleman Gambler
#8
Jim, Thanks for the clarification. I lived next to Joshua Tree for 12 years and never knew the difference.


Chip, who's Art Hill?

To the rest, thanks for the tips.
Doc
 
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#9
Doc, you're confusing the Mohave Red Yucca, that looks like this:

They both look somewhat similar but, in the second picture, it's the Mohave Red Yucca you're seeing among the Saguaro's, not a Joshua Tree. In the first picture, it's Jumping Cholla cactus, which really doesn't look like a Joshua Tree at all. Both the Mojave Red and the Jumping Cholla grow in the low deserts along with the Saguaro. Very few members of the cactus family grow at the same altitude of the Joshua Tree. The most likely plants to see in the high desert are sagebrush, greasewood, and creosote. Tumbleweed will grow almost anywhere so it's common to see it on both the low and high deserts.
Maybe most of the time but not always. The Joshua tree is usually found between 2,000-6,000ft and the Saguaro between 1,000-3,000ft so there can be overlap. This is directly from "North American Terrestrial Vegetation" By Michael Barbour and William Billings.

"Where the Sonoran and Mojave deserts abut (northeastern Arizona), saguaro's, junipers, Joshua trees, and paloverdes may co-occur in stands of great complexity and beauty."

Just thought I would throw that out there :)
 
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UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
#13
Art hill is a really great modeler and nice guy as well. He posts "across the street" mostly and I wish he would post here also. As you can see from his pictures, his layout does take up a considerable anount of his time.

NIevo, there are a few places near Page where the altitude crossover is just right and you do see a mixture of low and high desert plants. This is, by far, the exception rather than the rule. OTOH, if one likes both Saguaro's and Joshua Tree's, I'd stick them in, since it's just a train layout and not a botanical museum. :)
 



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