preserve a dead tree

OK. Get your laughs in then see if you can solve this. I'm posting here since I've had success with this groups creativity.
I live in an apartment with a west facing deck. The sun is hot and I need shade. There are all kinds of options but they are limited by the fact that this is rental... I don't own it.
One thought was to strategically place a potted tree/bush on the deck. I did that last year and it worked great. The tree died.
Artificial trees of this size (would like 8' high and +3' wide) cost a fortune.
Yesterday a thunder storm roll thru and trees and large branches fell everywhere. Hummm.... (this is the funny part) what if I could collect and preserve a downed tree or branch with a coating and use it as my artificial tree.
I've seen body parts, fish and leaves "sealed" with plastic/wax and they seem to maintain well.
What do you think? Post the joke first, then any ideas second.
Thank you.
So.... a horse walks into the bar. Bar tender says "Why the long face"?
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On Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 5:29:58 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

check craiglist, local garage sales for one or more fake trees
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