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South Africa

Tree Scales

A few visitors have asked me to list some common tree scale sizes..

While scale tree heights are reasonably simple to calculate, this approach is almost always problematic because the trees just don’t look right! especially when modelling the smaller scale, such as N.

N-scale, scale trees seem way too small tend to look more like tall bushes than trees!

Many modelers work on the precept that a mature-tree height averages about 15m (50 ft), whith some trees being taller, and most shorter..and always remembering that it is very rare for trees to all be the same height at once! (trees grow at different rates and are always being replaced with new saplings and dying-off as their ‘use-by date’ is reached, while local climate and soil conditions also influence growth rates and even size).

tree_scene(image credit : Jos)

Keep in mind when constructing scenery and trees, that trees tend to be bigger and taller than the trains you will be running, so having trees that are out-of-scale may actually help to create the correct look and feel, and may even make your trains part of the landscape, rather than dominating it.

Note: This is a work in progress:




Oak Tree Average Height:
Real World: 70 Feet
N Scale: 5.25 inches
N Scale: 133 mm

White Ash Tree:
Real World: 45-60 feet
N Scale: 3.375 – 4.5 inches
N Scale: 86 – 114mm

Sugar Maple Tree 30-40 Year Old:
Real World: 35 Feet
N Scale: 2.625 inches
N Scale: 67mm

Sugar Maple Tree Old Growth Full Grown:
Real World: 75 feet
N Scale: 5.625 inches
N Scale: 143 mm

American Beech Mature Height:
Real World: 50-70 Feet
N Scale: 3.75 – 5.25 inch
N Scale: 95 – 133mm

White Birch Mature Height:
Real World: 25-50 Feet
N Scale: 1.875 – 3.75 Inches
N Scale: 48 – 95mm


Pine Average height Full grown:
Real World: 50-150 feet
N Scale: 3.75 – 11.25 inches
N Scale: 95 mm – 286mm

Pine: Tallest:
Real World: 260 Feet
N Scale: 19.5 Inches
N Scale: 495 MM

White Spruce:
Real World: 55 Feet
N Scale: 4.125 Inches
N Scale: 105 mm

Northern White Cedar
Real World: 25 – 40 feet
N Scale: 1.875 – 3 inches
N Scale: 48 – 76mm

Eastern Red Cedar Mature Height
Real World: 30-60 Feet
N Scale: 2.25 – 4.5 inches
N Scale: 57mm – 114mm

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