Here's a quick step-by-step.
1- Sharpen one end a dowel and glue it to a large washer, or even two for weight. Then I use wood chalk to blend it to the base.
2- Use ai conditioner filter (comes in a big blue sheet) and cut in irregular shapes and maple them on the stake. It's at this stage I usually also goop the base (another day for a tutorial on that that).
3- Spray the whole thing black
4- Use a spray adhesive like Super 77 (nothing un-sticks from that) everywhere your foliage goes, and thickly apply course turf flock.
5- spray the whole thing with a spray sealant. I use CrystalClear. This makes the whole tree hard and the keeps the the flock from "shedding". Then finish the base.
28mm soldier for scale.