How to preserve pine tree branches

How to Preserve Pine Branches

Pine branches are perfect to decorate with, in whatever way you choose to use them. In a vase, a wreath on your door or wall, or to make furniture, there is something that must be done to the branches no matter what the project is. The pine branches will need to be preserved to ensure that they will stay in good shape for a long time and to make them look nice. How do you preserve pine branches though?

There are two methods used for preserving the branches. To preserve pine branches by using a glycerin/water mixture, you will have to cut and crush thes ends of the branches, then putting them into the mixture. To use the shellac/hairspray method of preserving pine branches, you use freshly cut branches and spray the entire branch with shellac or hairspray.


Of course, it is a bit more complicated than that, like most things tend to be. For instance, picking the perfect branches for your project, whether freshly cut or found on the ground. You have to figure out if you need freshly cut branches or if you have to dry them before using them. And both of the processes for preserving the branches are a bit more complicated than what has already been mentioned. Find more information on both processes of preserving pine branches, and picking your branches, below.


  • The Branches
    • Picking Pine Branches
    • Drying Pine Branches
  • Preserving Pine Branches
    • Preserve Pine Branches with Glycerin/Water Mixture
    • Preserve Pine Branches with Shellac or Hairspray

The Branches

The only way to preserve pine branches is to have pine branches. You will have to pick the branches that you want, keeping in mind what you are using them for. Some projects may need freshly cut branches while with other projects it may not matter. Make sure you get the pine branches that you need for your project so you don’t have to go back and find more.

Picking Pine Branches

When picking the branches you want to use, don’t only pick ones that look cool. There are some things to think about when picking out the branches. Fresh cut pine branches are ideal because you know they were just cut and can get the perfect angle of cut on the bottom. Wreaths especially need fresh pine branches so they have the green needles on them still.

You will want to cut the branches at an angle, not just in a straight line down. You can also use branches that are already on the ground, it just depends on the project. If you choose to do this, you will still want to give them a fresh cut on the end.

Drying Pine Branches

Once you have the perfect branches picked, you won’t be able to preserve and use them for your project right away unless you need freshly cut branches. The branches may need to dry out. The moisture inside the branches already will make it harder and longer for the glycerin/water mixture to be absorbed. Which is where drying the branches comes in.

Making sure they are in a warm and dry space, they can take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months to completely dry out. The amount of time it will take depends on a lot of factors. The smaller, thinner sticks will dry out much quicker than those that are large and thick.

The room that they are placed in will also change the amount of time the branches take to dry. When placed in a room with a heater, they may take less time than if they are put in a room without one.

Preserving Pine Branches

With the perfect branches picked and dried, it’s time to get to preserving the branches. Whether making a decorative wreath or making a beautiful piece of furniture, preserving the pine branches will help protect them for years to come. There are two ways to preserve pine branches. A glycerin/water solution, and using shellac or hairspray.

Preserve Pine Branches with Glycerin/Water Mixture

The glycerin/water solution takes some time to prepare for. This is because it works best when the branch is dry, which may take up to 6 months, as mentioned above. The branch then absorbs the mixture much quicker than if there is any other moisture in the branch.

This method of preserving pine branches is for branches without needles on them. The branches preserved this way often don’t have bark on them either, though you can leave the bark on if you wish.

  1. Pick the branches you plan to use for your project.
  2. Clean off the branches. Take off the needles and everything on the branch. You can also scrape off the bark, using a paint scraper or kitchen knife, if you wish to.
  3. Let the branches dry out. As mentioned above, this will take some time.
  4. Make the glycerin/water mixture using one part glycerin to two parts water. Put the mixture in a vase.
  5. Give the branches a fresh cut at a 45-degree angle. Then gently crush the ends with a hammer. This makes it even easier for the mixture to be absorbed by the branch.
  6. Put the branches in the vase, the crushed end in the liquid. Be sure to not put the vase in a spot where direct sunlight will hit it. The branches are ready for use once all the liquid is gone, or about one week after placing them in the vase.

Preserve Pine Branches with Shellac or Hairspray

Using shellac or hairspray is a quick and easy way to preserve pine branches. However, this method is more for branches with the needles still on. That is why this method is often used for wreath making. It gives the pine branch and the pine needles a shine that many people like their wreaths to have.

The shellac/hairspray method is also most often used with freshly cut pine branches. This means that you will not have to deal with drying the pine branches at all for any period of time. For more in-depth steps on using the shellac/hairspray method of preserving pine branches, check out this blog.

  1. Find the pine branches you want to use and cut them from the tree. Be sure that you cut them at a 45-degree angle.
  2. If the branches will not be used right away, place the freshly cut ends into a vase filled with water. You will then have to place the vase in a cool place until you are ready to use the branches.
  3. Remove anything unwanted from the branch, spider webs, pinecones, etc. You want the branches to look amazing, not dirty with things hanging in the needles.
  4. Place the branch on a tray, then spray the entire thing with shellac or hairspray. Once one side of the branch is completely coated, flip the branch over to coat the other side as well. You will do this for all of the branches that you have.

Preserve Fresh Evergreen Branches For Christmas

Janelle Esker

How to Preserve Fresh Evergreen Branches For Christmas, you may ask?

Last year at Christmas I had a problem.  Well, actually I have had this problem ever since I switched from fake pine branches to real! By the end of the Christmas Season, all the fresh evergreen branches that I cut and brought into the house to decorate had lost many of their needles.  Besides making a mess, it also looked terrible!

But what’s a woman to do that likes REAL  and not FAKE?   Prefers FREE and cost-effective?  I tell you what she does, she finds a way to make it work.  The good news is that I did.


I found a way to Preserve Evergreen Branches for Christmas!


What is the key you ask?   One word…glycerin.





Large plastic bucket


garden gloves


evergreen trees


I personally use multiple varieties of evergreen branches in my Christmas arrangements.  Each kind of evergreen preserves differently.  This preservation process will work on every kind of branch.  I have found it works the best on cypress, arborvitae (cedar), eucalyptus, holly, and boxwood.  It significantly extends the life of every kind of evergreen including pine and spruce!




Glycerin is available at most grocery stores.  I picked up mine at CVS and it only put me back three dollars!



  1. Fill the plastic bucket up 1/4 of the way with warm water and add the whole bottle of glycerin.  Mix the water and glycerin well.
  2. Put your garden gloves on and prune your evergreen trees.  I usually make my cuts around 24 inches long.  After you cut a branch, immediately put the freshly clipped end into the bucket.   Fill the bucket up with freshly cut evergreen branches.
  3. Soak for 24 hours.
  4. Decorate!


TIP:  To make your evergreen branches last even longer, run a humidifier in your home.  The moist air will extend the life of your BEAUTIFUL displays!







What is your favorite Christmas Decorating Tip?




*This post may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting The Peaceful Haven!

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Janelle Esker

Janelle Esker is the grateful wife of Michael and homeschooling mother of six amazing children. She lives with her family, 4 cats, 1 dog, 3 ducks and 12 chickens in scenic Ohio. Janelle received her B.A. in Education from Ohio Northern University. She is the author of CHOSEN: One Family's Journey with Autism.

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"We preserve" spruce paws

On hairy prickly paws
The Christmas tree brings the smell to the house:
The smell of heated needles,
The smell of freshness and wind,
And the snowy forest,
And a faint smell of summer.
(Yu. Shcherbakov)

A live spruce for the New Year fills the house with an amazing aroma and makes the holiday truly magical. Only here is the trouble: how to keep spruce, fir or coniferous branches fragrant and green for longer? I suggest readers some useful tips.

Selecting and maintaining a Christmas tree

When buying spruce, pine or fir, make sure that the color of needles is as intense green as possible. The thing is that some trees start harvesting in the fall and do not provide them with proper storage. In freshly cut spruce , the resin on the trunk will be viscous and sticky, , and in the old one it will turn into glassy amber droplets. Twigs must be flexible, and when a tree taps on the ground, needles should NOT fall from them.

At home, let the tree adapt to the new temperature regime for a couple of hours. Before installing , freshen the saw cut by 3-5 cm, remove excess lower branches and bark from the trunk to a height of about 10 cm. This will make it easier for the tree to absorb moisture and nutrients. Put herringbone in a bucket of settled water for at least for a day. You will notice that the tree will drink 3-4 liters per day! Having drunk enough, the Christmas tree will be ready to put on a festive outfit.

Use the special tripods , , which can be used to place the nutrient substrate, to install spruce. As it is more convenient to use sand. To make the Christmas tree last longer, sand should be watered with a slightly pink solution of potassium permanganate or slightly sweetened water. Scientists Forest Research Institute in Sweden conducted experiments with Christmas trees and found that sweetened water is the best way to preserve them ! You can bury a piece of copper wire or copper coins in the sand. Copper prevents bacteria and fungi from developing.

You can also feed the tree with a fertilizer solution: 2 teaspoons of ammonium nitrate, ½ teaspoon of potassium nitrate and 1 teaspoon of superphosphate (based on a bucket of water) . Such a “cocktail” will not only nourish the tree, but also protect it from the growth of putrefactive bacteria. It is even easier to water the Christmas tree with houseplant fertilizer.

Do not forget to spray Christmas tree every day with settled water at room temperature and keep it away from hot batteries.

Preserving branches

Before placing spruce or fir branches in water, make a few longitudinal cuts on them (as if splitting the ends) . If you brought branches from frost, let them get used to room temperature for a couple of hours, and then soak in the bathroom , in cool water for another two hours. Now you can put and decorate twigs. A vase with branches should also NOT be close to the batteries. Regarding the substrate, there are also some nuances:

1. You can put branches in wet sand , just like wood. And water with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or sweetened water. The branches themselves are also sprayed every day with settled water at room temperature.
2. You can stick branches into floristic phyto sponge ("Oasis") , abundantly moistened with water. Sponge then regularly moisturize.
3. If you put the branches in a vase with water , then for better preservation, you can add there (based on 1 liter of water) :

  • - 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablet of aspirin;
  • - 1-2 teaspoons of glycerin and a tablespoon of alcohol;
  • - 1-2 grams of gelatin, a pinch of citric acid and 1/3 teaspoon of crushed chalk;
  • - fertilizers for indoor plants;
  • - just like for wood, you can prepare a solution of fertilizers: 1/5 teaspoon of ammonium nitrate, a pinch of potassium nitrate and superphosphate.

Change the water in the vase every 2-3 days. And spray the branches themselves daily.

"Greenpeace" variant

Now coniferous trees with a closed root system are on sale in garden centers. If desired and possible, you can buy a small tree, plant it in a pot of a suitable size, adding land. With regular watering, fertilizing and spraying, the tree can stand until spring. And then it will be safe and sound to transplant into open ground.

As you can see, there are many ways to prolong the holiday. I would be glad if you share the results in the comments and tell us which one is more effective.
I wish you all a New Year mood and happy holidays!

Other articles of the Living Corner blog:

We attract happiness to the house! 5 "happiest" houseplants.
Green window sill. All for the fight against avitaminosis!
Choosing useful plants for the children's room.
Kalanchoe Degremona - home doctor.
We attract wealth to the house.

Tags: spruce , fir , spruce branches , New Year , how to save , Greenpeace , tips , way

The luxury of the forest: 10 easy ways to decorate the interior with coniferous plants0148


Slowly but surely, the season of decor from noble needles is coming - plants that are rightfully considered a real symbol of December and January. Beautiful and aristocratic compositions are already shown by Western bloggers and decorators on their Instagrams (an extremist organization banned in Russia), and we can only get inspired and draw ideas for our own homes. ELLE DESORATION has collected 10 best ideas, among which you will definitely find options for yourself and your home.

1. Coniferous bouquets

One of the simplest and most concise ways to bring the atmosphere of the upcoming holidays is to decorate your home with bouquets of coniferous plants in early December. Florists unanimously vote for Nobilis fir - one of the most persistent plants that will delight you until mid-January for sure. Place the bouquet on the bedside table or in the center of the dining table - and the New Year's mood is guaranteed!



Mirror arrangement

For those who like to decorate their homes in detail, the idea of ​​decorating a mirror in the hallway or on the fireplace will definitely appeal to you. Just make a simple pine or spruce bouquet, tie it up with pretty ribbons, and hang it over a mirror.

5. Coniferous table decor

Festive table decor is inconceivable without spruce branches — their aroma plunges you into real winter bliss and sets you up for relaxation. This season, florists recommend paying attention to the laconic branches of thuja or juniper - they will look non-trivial and add elegance to the feast.


6. Decorates of the decorates will be one of the best variants.

Tie the branches together, and then decorate them with bows and cones. The LED strip will be an ideal addition - in the evening your composition will give your home a New Year's mood and chic.

Photos of

7. Coniferous decor on the bathroom mirror

Another unusual way to use needles in home decor is to decorate the bathroom mirror with branches. Firstly, due to the reflection, the greenery will seem more magnificent and voluminous, and secondly, this detail of the New Year's decor will meet you every morning. What's not the perfect start to a winter day?

8. Arrangement of pine needles on a chandelier

If you own a beautiful classical style chandelier with candelabra, then pay attention to another idea from western bloggers.

Learn more