The tighter integration of SpeedTree® for Games into Unreal Engine 4 by Epic Games takes a new approach resulting in more options and a better all-around structure for moving forward.
With the improved Unreal Engine 4 integration, SpeedTree tools are built right into the regular static mesh object that comprises the bulk of every scene made with UE4. SpeedTree-specific effects, such as wind and billboarding, are handled by a new SpeedTree material node that artists can use in the materials applied to the tree.
Rendering of SpeedTree models in UE4 now uses the same rendering code as everything else. Structuring the integration in this way allows SpeedTree models to be used on any platform that UE4 supports or will support in the future. You can even optimize for less-powerful platforms by disabling wind and other effects on a per-material basis. If the SpeedTree node is removed from the material entirely, the tree basically becomes exactly like any other static mesh in the scene.
The new SpeedTree/UE4 integration also includes an importer that does much of the heavy lifting for you by loading textures and setting up materials. Options are presented as you import, to automatically set up wind, branch seam blending, etc. in the materials created for the tree, which makes for a super-fast import process.