When a tree falls sick and eventually dies, it becomes dangerous. In that case, it’s critical to chop it down and avoid accidents. In doing so, however, the stump always remains—the bottom part of the trunk plus the roots.
While not necessarily ugly, a stump can look a bit awkward on your garden or landscape. If you don’t want to remove it, there’s always something to fix it up and make it useful.
With our tree stump ideas, you’ll learn how to use the remaining lower bottom part of a tree that stays behind. Check them all out!
17 DIY Tree Stump Ideas You Can’t Miss
We picked these ideas with the DIYer in mind. People who are willing to put a bit of effort into making their house enticing and practical. If you’re one of those, then check our ideas below:
1. Giant Flower Pot
This is an appealing way to give your small flowers a place to be. Open a sufficiently large hole in the middle of the stump and fill it up with garden soil. Once done, you can plant some flower seeds.
The result? A gorgeous natural pot that not only protects the flowers but also adds up to the beauty of your garden.
Choose the right flowers, and you’ll boost its appeal even more. We recommend tall flowers for the best results, especially if the stump is big.
2. The Cactus Planter
Cactuses are often small and low-profile, usually too close to the ground to ever gain anyone’s attention. Around more colorful and classically attractive plants, they often go dismissed.
But with a stump, you can highlight their beauty, make them more visible, and still increase the dead tree’s usefulness. You’d be augmenting the appeal of the whole garden with a simple use like this.
Generally, cacti prefer being directly on garden or potting soil. But if you’re willing to take the chances, planting it with a bit of soil into a stump can be an excellent idea.
3. Moss Carpet Stump
Even though it often occurs naturally, you can actually boost the process and make even the biggest tree stumps become a mossy piece of art.
People overlook the loveliness of a fully-covered stump. With the vibrant green of moss, it can make for an excellent addition to anyone’s yard or garden.
We recommend this one mostly in humid areas. Places that tend to stay in low temps and with tons of moisture often become the perfect place for things like this to happen.
4. Tree Stump Outdoor Sink
You may think a stump will be limited to decoration only. But you would be obviously wrong. With enough creativity and a modest set of carpentry skills, you can transform a seemingly useless stump into a sink.
By just opening a hole in the stump and place a metal, ceramic, or plastic bowl, you’ll have the sink ready. Install a faucet or hose as the water source, and the sink will perform as it should.
Remember to open a drain as well, so the sink becomes fully operational.
5. Small Flowerbed or Grass
Similar to covering a stump with moss, you can also use a flowerbed or grass. It’s as simple as thinly opening the top part of the stump and pouring some garden soil. Then, you can plant pretty much anything.
But we recommend flowerbeds and grass as two of the best options. Plants that grow densely and give the stump a more attractive use will be your best bet.
You can also opt for herbs and similar perennials that grow densely but not too large. Planted close enough, any plant can become a gorgeous addition to any stomp.
6. Mid-Trunk Decorative Carving
If the stomp is big and has part of the trunk still intact, you don’t need to keep cutting it down. Instead, use it to practice your carving skills and come up with a decorative piece.
This is an excellent choice for carving beginners, as large stumps offer a lot of space to carve over. If you use it properly, you can develop thousands of different ideas on how to display it.
In case the carvings don’t go as planned, you can always keep cutting it down. Nothing will affect your garden’s appeal if you don’t want to.
7. Sculpture Carving
Why stick to simple carvings when you can put expert skills to the test? In case you’re looking to add a unique piece of art to your yard, a sculpture made from the tree stump could be fantastic.
This could take you a lot of time, but it would still be a DIY idea. If you don’t want to do it yourself, ask someone who can (that wouldn’t be DIY, but you understand).
Either way, it can be a gamechanger for your garden. A sculpture from a stump will make any landscape unique.
8. Artsy Carving for Christmas
Is it close to Christmas season already and you recently dropped a tree down? Give some use to the tree stump by carving a face and painting it.
You can give it a Santa Claus appearance, an elf, a reindeer, or anything that relates to Christmas. If you’re creative enough, it can become a go-to piece to uncover every year – reducing decoration efforts exponentially.
9. The Coin Stump
An exciting way to make the tree stump bright and impossible to dismiss: nail tons of coins on it. This will make the stump shine and make for a fun conversation with anyone who likes it.
The best of all is how cheap and easy it is. You can pretty much use any coin, even quarters or pennies. And to nail them down, you won’t need to do much more than hitting them with a hammer into the wood.
Sure, it will be a bit of work, seeing how many coins you will have to nail down to brighten up the stump. But the result will be worth it, especially in sunny places with no shade.
10. Middle-Age Wooden Book Stand
If you want to go the extra mile and put your carving and carpentry skills to the test, you can always create the most intricate decorations.
A bookstand, for example, can be an excellent choice. You can also come up with a bookshelf, a chest, or even secret storage for your kids.
If you’re willing to put in the effort to come up with something unique and attractive, even the smallest and dullest of stumps can become a gorgeous piece.
11. A Fancy Seat
Some trees like the crabapple, oak, and weeping willow grow branches almost directly from the stump. This gives them a unique appearance once the tree has died.
Starting from there, you can guess the thousands of different things you can make with it. One of them would be a fancy seat.
The low-growing branches would give a highly appealing touch, making even the most inattentive people take a good look at it. Paired up with decorations depending on the season (Halloween, Christmas, carnival, etc.), you can make it an even more enticing piece.
12. A Backyard Dining Table
With a sufficiently large tree stump, you can always make a table. Species like sequoias and cypresses can leave giant stumps behind that you can polish and grind away from impurities. This would leave a smooth surface you can use to dine alongside friends or family or just put drinks on.
If you’re willing to go a bit further, you can always install a glass or metal top, adding to its appeal and usefulness. And still then, the stump will be working as a base and a highly stable one at that.
13. A Bonsai Planter
If there’s an almost perfect use for a tree stump, that would be as a planter. Whether it is flowers, cacti, or grass.
But one you may not be considering is a bonsai. Any small bush-like plant you can get on top of a tree stump will look fantastic.
The advantage is that tree stumps are entirely safe, often helping increase the soil’s nutrients and still protect the plant from garden diseases in the process.
For plants that often struggle alongside grass or other vegetation, like bonsai, a tree stump can be an excellent container to use.
14. The Throne Stump
Another super-exciting way to give a tree stump better use could be a seat or chair. If you want to take it a bit further, a throne.
A sufficiently wide and sturdy tree stump can be carved into a seat, becoming the go-to place for anyone to enjoy the landscape.
This will not only add an exciting piece of decoration to any garden or yard, but it could also become a way to disconnect from the rest of the house. Children can use it for playing. And pets may find it a comfortable bed.
15. Inside Hollow Tree Planter
While opening a hole on the top of the tree stump and pouring soil could be the way to go for a planter, you can also use a hole in the trunk for that.
If you’re working with a sufficiently large stump with a hollow center and a hole, that could also become a planter. You can use plants that love the shade, like mushrooms or moss.
Once the plants start growing, your tree stump will become way more attractive. If you use a flowering plant, the chances of improving it would be exponential.
16. Funny Decorative Stump Carvings
You don’t have to stick to dull carvings that only look sufficiently good. If you’re starting as a carver or want to add something to talk about into your yard, then a funny sculpture or carving will do the job.
There’s no point in coming with a preset idea for this. As long as you’re creative enough and willing to put in a bit of effort into making something funny or at least mildly entertaining, you’ll have an easy time.
Be aware that carvings are often permanent. So don’t make something awkward or weird-looking you’ll eventually have to take down.
17. A Simple Bird Feeder
There’s no need to think of a sophisticated idea when something simple will get the job done. A bird feeder, for example, can be a superb choice.
You can also build a birdhouse if you want. This could take a lot more time and effort, given that you’ll have to open a lot of holes. But it could also work neatly to house some birds in your backyard.
Wherever way you go, make it modest. You won’t have to waste a ton of effort to make use of a tree stump – especially if it is for animals.
How Do You Seal A Tree Stump Left In The Ground?
A tree stump starts rotting because of the fungi that it attracts. To prevent this, you need to protect the stump by sealing it with a finish. Scrub the stump’s surface, and remove any leftover portions of the bark so the surface is smooth. Use a slightly moistened cloth to run over the stump’s surface to remove the small debris. Cover the surface using high-grit paper, and use a wood sealant product to coat the surface with a brush. Let the surface dry after coating. This should seal the stump.
How Do You Remove A Large Tree Stump From The Garden?
A large tree stump will need grinding with a chainsaw or treatment with chemicals. A good strategy to deal with a large stump is to dig out as much of the soil and debris around it as possible. The idea is to get access to the roots which can then be dug out using a hand shovel. If it is uprooted from the bottom up, the stump is more likely to yield. In case the stump is too large and resists grinding, you can also deploy fire. When holes have been drilled into it, kerosene will have to be poured into them, and then ignited.
So, did you get any idea from our list above? As long as you get a bit of inspiration from our tree stump ideas, we’ll be happy.
Just remember, the focus is to make use of a seemingly useless object. Instead of the tree stump in your backyard, it can become a lot more. So don’t hesitate to put your creativity and hands to work – get out there and make that stump useful!
The time that the tree stump will last depends on the species of the tree and the natural conditions in the garden. It can last even up to ten years without treatment. Most species will lose up to 80 percent of their mass in up to four years. Species with more resistance to decay will lose their mass in up to seven years.
Yes, a tree can fully grow back from the stump because the roots are still present. Theoretically, there might be enough nutrients in the root system to cause sprouts to emerge. Whether or not the tree starts growing back from the tree depends on how well the sprouts grow.
Yes, it is advisable to get rid of the tree stump case; that is doable. Having tree stumps in your garden makes the whole process of gardening much harder. In case you decide to do weeding or mowing, it becomes problematic.
Stumps can also end up damaging or breaking lawn equipment in case there is a collision. They can also harm children or someone driving near the lawn.
It is also observed that old stumps tend to attract insects due to the decaying material. Not only does it look like a nuisance, but it can also affect the plants growing nearby.
To get rid of your tree stump quickly, you can either use a chemical tree killer or you can try grinding the tree. The grinding process tears the tree’s roots and breaks the wood section. You can use a chainsaw to trim the stump as much as possible. In the case of chemical tree killers, Epsom salt is the most effective. Compounds containing potassium nitrate can cause the stump to decompose in as little as four to six weeks.
As mentioned above, Epsom salt is an excellent natural stump killer. It would be best if you made cuts on the top surface of the stump and then drilled holes into it. Following this, pour the salt into the holes and allow it to penetrate.
If you do not wish to resort to other methods and use only your hands and essential tools, you will need to dig out the stump. Digging requires basic hand tools, such as a spade and a digging iron. Use the spade to infiltrate the ground and make cracks around the root area. Use the digging iron to pull out roots firmly affixed to the soil. You can clear the loose soil around the stump with your bare hands. When the taproot gets exposed, use the digging iron to remove it.