All in this has cost me about $300, so it's not cheap. Most of the cost ($250) was in the branches, but I really didn't want to skimp on unrealistic boughs. Those looking for the bargain route could pick up an overstocked artificial Christmas tree and strip it for parts.
The basics of the plan are simple:
1) Find and prepare a trunk out of a real tree branch
2) Build a base to match the trunk
3) Drill holes in the trunk and stick in the branches
-- Tree branch to serve as trunk. Obtain with permission from tree-owner, of course.
-- Polyurethane. $8.
-- Pot. Mine cost $15 in wood and parts.
-- Cement. 1 60# bag will do. $3.
-- Rebar, 1' lengths x 3. $3.
-- 4" PVC connector pipe. $10.
-- Rubber cement. $3.
-- Artificial boughs. $250 including shipping, in my case. I used 25 of the 30 I bought to make this, so could have been cheaper.
-- Dried moss. $8.
-- Spray adhesive. Any crafter has it already.