All that stuff with folders feels like a whole lot of overkill. Why? Just name your branches (we currently copy part of the link from Trello since that is what we are using for tasks right now: 1234-name-of-card), merge without a fast forward, nuke when done. Tag your releases. I've yet to see any real compelling evidence that keeping all of this stuff around forever or going 6 feet deep into folders etc really buys anything.
We've got persistent branches for each environment; but only because builds are tied to them. Releases are prepped using a hard reset of master once everything has been, QA'd, UAT'd, approved, and a release tag created.
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