Don, the ripple effect is the standard PaintShopPro ripple effect, I very rarely use it but it turned out well on this image.
Brad, this is a fictitious fabrication that is intended for visual appearance. Normally the segments would be sections of a cone, which would leave the middle of the segment circular, and the mitre elliptical, but this fabrication has the mitre's circular in profile. Then just a case of lofting each pair of circles. All three reducing segment bends have a common diameter, which is the joint just to the left of the branch.