Avoid deleting foliage instance associated with a static mesh when the static mesh is deleted?

If you use the foliage tool to add foliage instances to a static mesh actor, then you delete the static mesh actor, the foliage instances are also deleted.

Is it possible to save out the foliage instances so that they are not lost if the associated static mesh is deleted?

Note: this concerns manually painted foliage instances only. Not using procedural foliage spawners or foliage assets.

You have to purposely invalidate the instances by selecting them and moving them up a bit to be outside the collision zone.
Then you can delete the mesh without them getting affected…

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