I have made several attempts to make a willow but the resulting trees looked anemic to say the least and badly needed a lot more bulk and leaves. I have been making the armatures from copper wire soldered together.
Earlier this year the well known British modeller Gordon Gravatt released a book about modelling broad leaf trees. Gordon is one of my modelling hero's. He has built numerous layouts over the years that are often featured in magazines like Model Rail Journal. His latest masterpiece is a model of the French metre gauge railway Reseau Breton. The layout called Pempoul is stunning and even more remarkable when you discover he literally scratch built everything. If you have some time to kill google Pempoul. I digress, I got my copy from Titfield Thunderbolt bookshop in England who do a great mail order. The book is Modelling Trees Part One- Broadleaf trees, published by Wild Swan.
In the past I have used punched paper leaves for trees. A recent business trip to Adelaide took me to Orient Express who sell the excellent miniNatur scenery products from Germany. I found a foliage mat covered with individual leaves sold as Beech foliage. It comes in a range of colours with spring being a bright colour similar to the willow trees I am modelling
As you can see I have started adding the foliage and I am very pleased with the result & it should look great when I have it all on. Even though the minaNatur product comes as a mat it is quite time consuming to add to the tree as I am tearing the mat into individual strands to get the weeping look. A tree this size will use at least two packets, not cheap but in my mind well worth the expense.