UVs and Skin Modifier problem..any solutions?

I have created a basic tree branch using the skin modifier which allows me to add soft-body dynamics to the branch and because its working on the base edges mesh it has a very fast response.

The problem is i want to be able to texture the branch but of course any uv’ing will be done on the base mesh.

Any ideas as to how i can get the uvs without applying the skin modifier…as doing that will give me some serious lag through the soft body dynamics.

Here’s a sample of what ive done already:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTHpmh9IyMY

Sorry this is somewhat dynamics/UV’s/‘rigging’ issue…felt the core issue is i just want to texture it!

i tried to use a mesh deform modifier. with a duplicate mesh. Didnt work. If there was a way to create a duplicate that followed this mesh vertex to vertex…

Seems to be turning into more of a rigging question…