A real tree has a great deal more branches than the base I've created, and those branches taper into batches of leaves. My purpose is to get the general feel of a maple tree and to accent the landscaping.
I have 95 base branches, which may seem like a lot, but there will be bare spots if I leave it as is. I took short lengths of 30 gauge brown wire and curled them around the base branches where needed, adding 120 small branches. Now I have 215 branches.
I mixed Durham's Water Putty again and covered the joins. This does create bulk and you can somewhat see the twists since I didn't go overboard with the application, but this shouldn't be a focal point once the putty is painted to match the bark and the leaves are on. I didn't add these before finishing the base tree and branches because it is hard to paint the interior with all these fiddly branches on the outer surface. Much easier to just touch up the paint where needed.
Now to make more leaves!