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How to Preserve Birch Tree Branches

Birch bark is easily recognizable.
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Things You'll Need:

  • Drop cloth or old newspaper
  • Work goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Polyurethane matte varnish spray


Matte varnish allows the branch to keep a natural look. Use a glossy varnish if you want the branch to shine.

With its smooth, white texture accented with black flecks, a birch tree has a distinctive appearance. Birch tree branches can add a festive touch to a decorative winter display or serve as year-round décor when placed in a colorful vase. While birch tree branches last for long periods of time on their own, you may want to take added measures to preserve them and keep them looking their best.

Find a flat area such as a table or outdoor space. Cover the space with a drop cloth or newspaper large enough to accommodate the birch branch. Make sure the area is well ventilated.

Put on a pair of work goggles and work gloves. Shake a can of polyurethane matte varnish spray. Remove the lid, and hold the can approximately 6 inches from the branch.

Press down on the spray can’s button while aiming at the branch. Move your hand in a back and forth motion, which helps with even coverage. Cover the entire area of the birch bark with the matte varnish, turning the branch as necessary. Pay special attention to the exposed wood in the area where the branch was cut, as it decays faster than the bark.

Allow the varnish time to dry overnight before handling.

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