If you recall from my post about gaming crews we used to spend most of our time gaming at my friend Chris's house. That meant a lot of our terrain was stored there, from the building and hills I'd made to my collection of model trees. At the time GW did a nice line in lead [pb] trunk and root pieces [pictured below] which you could add to any common or garden model tree to make it look a bit more GW.
Obviously those halcyon days where we had all the terrain we need are gone, and so are my collection of trees. I like vegetation, I used to like it even more when you had anti-plant grenades that you could use to deny soft cover from your opponent. Now of course 'true line of sight' means half a dozen trees interspersed with lichen to represent the borders of a wood doesn't cut it. If you want a proper forest you need a lot of wood ;)
But what's the deal with them being so expensive? I don't recall them costing so much, not specifically at GW but everywhere model trees seem to be like gold dust, even on ebay. I did see a set of model fir trees at my local garden centre [and craft shop] that were quite cool, £15 for a decent amount and all came with snow mound bases. I think they were for setting up Christmas scenes. Of course I foolishly didn't pick them up.
Alternatively there is GW's 3 tree wood for £17, I mean really? That's pathetic I want proper foliage. Or what about 4 sprues of jungle plants of course you'll need to sell a kidney - they cost £25.50 for the set. If you're that way inclined you're much better off scoping out your local pet shop and checking out the aquarium supplies. They usually have nearly exactly the same sort of foliage for cheap, cheap and more of it to boot!
On a side note hedges get a bad rep nowadays because of their lack of real 'purpose' on the battlefield. A nice bag of Lichen always looks impressive on the battlefield, in my opinion. I have a nice yellow set to show up on my red planet, as seen below.
Of course you can make them, with wire armatures and a lot of flock/lichen but that sort of scratchbuild just doesn't appeal to me. The only other real option is to stop thinking of trees as trees and to start thinking of them as 'alien trees' and the best thing for that is a bag of pot pourri, which I'll discuss when I've actually made some plants with it, so much to do so little time...