Branch Railing and Twig Railing/Balusters

What is Branch Railing and Twig Railing?

Branch railing and twig railing is a type of railing that is made with the twigs and branches of trees. Mountain laurel is a common tree to use for branch railing due to its strength, durability and intricate natural shapes. Guardrails are required along balconies, decks or stairs usually where there is a height difference of more than 30″. A tree branch railing can be functional and also an amazing addition to any space!

Interior Twig Railing

Interior Twig Railing

Twig balusters make the branch railing

The twig balusters used in Mountain Laurel Handrails are usually no less than 0.5″ diameter and no more than 1.5″ diameter. The mountain laurel tree branches are preferred for decorative branch railing since they are strong enough to hold fasteners and withstand a large amount of pressure before breaking.

Twig balusters are also strong since they are often fastened together at different points in the weave. This makes a twig handrail sort of like a sheet of OSB (oriented strand board). This kind of board is similar to plywood but is instead just chips of wood laid down in a certain manner and glued together with a very strong glue.

Twig Handrail

Twig Handrail

Twig Railing Sections are Easy to Install

The picture below shows a Mountain Laurel Handrail that is ready for shipment. These sections are available for delivery nationwide. Proudly Made in America, the twig railing sections are built to your actual post-to-post measurements.

twig railing

Twig Railing

The top and bottom 2×4 boards are about one inch longer than actual measurements. When the branch handrails arrive on site, mark the 2×4 boards, cut them to fit and install with screws. Your contractor provides additional lumber and posts. Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions for all the details.

What About Twig Log Railing

Using twigs in a log railing is a natural match. The round shape of the logs is perfectly complemented by the organic and sinuous shapes of the twig balusters. For the tree branch handrail shown below, the top and bottom logs are black locust, and the twig balusters are mountain laurel.

twig balusters

Black Locust Mountain Laurel Handrail

The branches for the log and branch railings are usually a larger diameter to match the stockier, burlier feel of the twig and log railing. These decorative wood branches make perfect balusters at 1.5″ diameter to 2.5″+ diameter. The top black locust log is 3″ to 4″ diameter, and the bottom one is 5″ to 6″ diameter.

The logs can also be of different lumber. In the picture shown below, the top banister is a mountain laurel log that is between 3″ and 4″ diameter. The bottom board is a yellow pine 1×4 to match and blend into the stairs. The resulting look seems to grow from the bottom of the stair stringer into a natural shaped tree branch banister and beautiful tree branch stair railing.

Best Rustic Railing

Best Rustic Railing

Branch Railing CAD Drawings

The best way to get started on a new construction or remodeling project is with a professionally prepared set of plans, drawings and specifications. Architects and designers use CAD programs like Revit, AutoCAD, ChiefArchitect or 20/20 to prepare the plans. These computer-aided drafting programs can also show photo-realistic renderings of the designs and what the finished home construction project will look like.

Architects and designers can use these drawings to easily incorporate Mountain Laurel Handrail into the wood deck plans. Rendering Mountain Laurel Handrails in 3D modeling software can be difficult due to the complexity of the shapes in this rustic branch and twig railings. The picture below can be used in 2D elevations and sections of the architectural drawings to help get a feel for how the handrails will look.

Wood Railing CAD Drawing

Wood Railing CAD Drawing

Luckily, the user “polecat” over at the ChiefTalk Chief Architect forums has come up with some nifty CAD designs that incorporate Mountain Laurel Handrails into CAD blocks that can be used as a template for any home or design. These files (Instant Download – 4.6 MB) are in the .3ds format which is used commonly by different programs. They are fully stretchable and modifiable 3D symbols for use in most architecture and design software currently available

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19 Responses to Branch Railing and Twig Railing/Balusters

  1. Pam carroll says:

    I am looking for 2 pc both need to be 30 in tatall by 32 in in length. Could u give me a price

  2. JIM GALEMB says:

    The branche that were used for the hand rail where vertualy straight with a stub or three slightly pertrueding the main limb, like it was just cut off a tree. It is being used as a vertical bluster .I saw this several times on Pete Nelsons tree house masters.I appreciate your effort,Jim

  3. jim galemb says:

    i’m looking for the straighter balusters that would be screwed on a hand rail,like the one’s on tree house masters,thank jim

  4. Jennifer Munsie says:

    Could we please get a product guide with pricing?

    Thank you!

  5. lelan says:


    looking for a stair rail with a rustic branch aesthetic about 13-14 feet long. Do you have anything like this?

  6. Debi Keeney says:

    Looking for the railing to finish our deck in Northern California with an unbelievable view

  7. Cathie says:

    I received your product guide with pricing but got no processing. Looking for ballpark pricing please.

  8. myra bagley says:

    need price for 8ft.x8ft. corner porch. twig railing shipped to big island va.

  9. Randle Brock says:

    What would be the cost for 4 88″ and 2 68″stair exterior twig railing Randle Brock shipped to Houston Texas

  10. doug maes says:

    I have a 30 ‘ upper deck which I would like a price on for twig railings. Include shipping Moose Jaw Saskatchewan Canada does it include top and bottom rails How many sections for 30’ Thanks Doug Maes

  11. Bob Schutz says:

    would like to use your twig wood railings, for stairs and balcony. How do we start defining and building costs?

  12. Bob Mikos says:

    Good evening Jim,

    I am interested in the Twig Railing system. 69 1/2″ left to right standard (just like your pic (black base and top). Price and timeframe to st. Charles, illinois 60175

  13. Cylinda Hill says:

    I am looking to purchase some twigs for a stair project. The railing is already in place so I only need the twigs. Any idea where I can purchase them?

  14. Jim Lewis says:

    please call me to discuss wood railings for a bridge in Murphy,NC


  15. John Mascaro says:

    I’m looking for approx. 500SF of 5/4×6 black locust to use as a deck surface.

    Also looking for approx.40 pcs each of ~2″ dia branches in 3 species: perhaps red oak, maple and walnut? These would be used as railing ballusters.

    We’re in Philadelphia.

    Thanks in advance for a reply.

  16. Brian Pansing says:

    Please offer more info on twig railing, costs,what options there are? Can panels be purchased and field installed into railing system?

  17. Gwyn Wheeler says:

    Interested in lineal ft pricing on the twig railings.

  18. Nancy Wenten says:

    I have need for railings….two would be approximately 5′ and one would be about 4′ . They would be used on my porches outdoors. The approximate lengths are just that…my cabin is too snowed in at this time to make measurements. Please give me an estimate on these railings. I want the railings made with twigs and they will be used in northern Wisconsin. Thanks. Nancy