While at a hobby shop when I was on vacation they had this pack of WS tree armatures on the clearance table for $5. There are three sizes at 3,4 and 5 inch which means the largest is barely a mature tree in N scale at appox. 65 feet (the forest canopy in these parts is around 85 foot I believe) but all trees in a forest aren't mature so I figured if I mix em' in with the others they will be O.K. All of these trees regardless of size have the same exact branch structure and even though you can bend the branches in different directions pretty much if you plant several of these together your forest will start to look like it was cloned! When you remove the dorky base you lose about a half inch but when you put the foilage on you get the height back. Because the tree is a fakey, shiny brown color the first thing I did was spray it flat black after I had shaped it. Then I dry burshed it with some gray and blended it with some chalks (darker gray and reddish brown).
I did the foilage the same way as I do on natural twig armatures and after trimming some fuzz off I planted it on the layout. It makes for a decent looking tree but because of the extra steps of painting and drybrushing I can do several twig armatures in the time it takes to do one of these. However the extra thick trunk is nice and is long as you mix them to avoid the cloned look I think they are worth the trouble.
When I use the WS trees I usually use the base but bury it in the scenery.The only mod I make is to ream the hole in the base enough that the pin on the bottom of the trunk is a good fit.That way if you need to remove the tree it will plug back into the hole without a fight or worse a broken pin.
To add some more "wet" to the water I topped it off with a couple of coats of Future floor wax. While it looks very wet to the eye the camera has a hard time focusing on something that is translucent and this is the best I could get.