A tree was the first thing I embroidered, a little apple tree with people beneath it, which was used for my first china range, Apple Picking. I still love to stitch trees, using a variety of subtly variegated colours and varying the stitches, from tiny little stab stitches to my funny loopy stitch, with a few French knots thrown in, but not too many, otherwise it starts to look too stylised. Sometimes, I add a little machine embroidery, so that you would hardly know it is there, but it adds depth and texture. The key thing is to get the branches in first, and establish the rough outline of the tree. Sometimes people forget that trees are not neat and tidy at the top, like topiary, so it is always a good idea to have a few random stitches at the edges.