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Octree, ATB question

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I''ve got one question about rendering static meshes. When I used octrees, I converted the static meshes to polygon-soups and put them into the leafs. But what if level-mesh not only has polygon data, but references to other 3d meshes that should be placed. For example, if I have a ship model and I need to place 50 barrels into the "cellar", it''d be logical to model 1 barrel separately and then just have 50 references in the ship model. (A primitive example, but it''s only an example) This can be easily done, but there''s one question: Where do I put those instances in the octree? It works if the objects fits into the leaf''s boundary box,(with no or minor enlargement), so except for the polygon soup, the leaf contains a link to another object, but what if it doesn''t? If it has to be moved one or more levels up, localisation will be broken. This question arised when I wanted to model a forest using several models and instances to them. Those usually didn''t fit into 1 octree leaf.

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