Moderator's Note: The following tutorial was posted by Randy Maysid="black"> in the On30 Forum area. The original topic is still open for discussion/questions/comments.

The copy below has been installed here for preservation and reference.

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I don't think I've see trees made from sunflower stalks......... Would you mind doing a step by step post with pictures when you make your trees?"

Rick; Moderater

I told Rick I'd try to make a thread of pics for the process I used to make BIG PACIFIC NORTHWEST TREES using sunflower stalks for the trunks.

If your looking for a alternative sourse to use to model big trees such as Redwoods, Red Cedars, and Giant Firs.

the here we go.

Well we start out with a typical sunflower stalk thats reasonably straight, clean off the leaves and flowers.I keep as much of the stalk that is fairly straight as I can.

Then I cut off thr rootball leaving the flaired base area.

Then I cut them to length,usually 28" to 36".

**** Now the bad news,

you half to wait a few months for the stalks to get dried out and woody.

Now its been a few months and the stalks are ready to work, they should be hard like wood by now,I clean off the fine roots leaving the desired amount of base.

first we have to glue in the end a dowel rod,

I cleaned out the soft core with a drill bit,

I used liquid nails for the glue, gluing in a 8" to 12" dowel rods, half glued in, half sticking out.

dowel rod dia. varies with each sunflower core,I had a number of sizes on hand.

leave stalks overnight to set up.

Now i use a 24" floor table sander to grind down the dowel and stalk to a tapered end.

also sand off the leaf stubs to get as much uniform roundness as possiable.

Now I use a pull saw to rasp on the trunks sideways to give the stalk a treebark affect.

these saws are very sharp and fine toothed!


For mine, some are one coated with dark brown waterbase acrylics,

others with med.dark grey acrylics,

for both colors,

I then mist them with spray adhesive and roll them in some fine sawdust to give them a little texture.

I immediatly cloth rub them down to maintain a finer textured look,

Then I mist spray them with a very dark brown flat rustoelim paint.

and finally with the gray ones I rubbed in some charcoal briquets ash, for a more Fir tree bark color.

Well thats what I did, LOL, good, bad, or indifferent.

So heres my finish trunks made from a sunflower stalk.

My tallest ones are 36" to 38".

Sunflower stalks you have that are not straight enough for tree trunks, there bases still can be used for "OLD GROWTH" stumps.

So here is a couple of pics on my layout of the sunflower stalk giant tree bases.


heres a couple of pics of the Pacific Northwest forest I am creating on my layout, the "Columbia Pacific Timber Co."

Using sunflower stalk giant trees mixed in with a few dowel rod style trees, and a mixture of twist tree thrown in to boot.




Timber Co.

"July 21st 1937"