How to Preserve Birch Tree Branches

Updated February 21, 2017

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 decor when placed in a colourful 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 dust sheet 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 matt 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 matt 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.


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

Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheet or old newspaper
  • Work goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Polyurethane matt varnish spray
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About the Author

Sarah Schreiber has been writing since 2004, with professional experience in the nonprofit and educational sectors as well as small business. She now focuses on writing about travel, education and interior decorating and has been published on Trazzler and various other websites. Schreiber received a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications.