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Thread: Need cactus, joshua trees and tumble weeds

  1. #1

    Default Need cactus, joshua trees and tumble weeds

    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
    Ridin' the rails in a BAD Western

  2. #2

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    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
    Mark G

  3. #3

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    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.
    Regards, Jim
    _______________
    HO Scale Modeler

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by UP2CSX View Post
    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.
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    Ridin' the rails in a BAD Western

  5. #5

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    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.
    Last edited by UP2CSX; 04-01-2009 at 11:57 PM.
    Regards, Jim
    _______________
    HO Scale Modeler

  6. #6

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    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.
    Last edited by Shortliner2001; 04-02-2009 at 09:17 AM. Reason: thoughts added

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    Art Hill is mass producing Saguaro with resin casting.

    Chip

  8. #8

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    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
    Last edited by Doc Holliday; 04-02-2009 at 05:33 PM.
    Ridin' the rails in a BAD Western

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UP2CSX View Post
    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
    Last edited by NIevo; 04-02-2009 at 07:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    Chip, who's Art Hill?
    Guy who built that layout. Seen a lot on MRs site. Not here I think. Here's another part of the layout.



    And new phase.

    Chip

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