cut tree down, now left with 12' tall stump. Ideas?

quirkpod(7 Lewisville NC)March 19, 2006

How can I use an old tree stump that is still in ground? All I can think of is making a garden bed around it for strawberries, with a path to its center. Then I can sit there and eat. It's in full sun in my backyard. Please help me think of something creative.

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Turn it into a rock by covering it with wire then concrete or hypertufa.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 7:17PM
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I saw a really neat idea for a stump. They had attached all sorts of hanging pot holders to it at different heights. Looked very neat. I have a picture of it somewhere if you email me I'll look for it.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 6:01AM
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zinniachick(southwest Ohio)

Here's what we did. You can find a chain saw artist by asking around at a lumber yard near you.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 10:55AM
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zinniachick(southwest Ohio)

I also considered getting one of those old swivel wooden office chairs, detaching the bottom part, and mounting it up there so I could sit up there and holler at passersby. I still really like that idea.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 10:57AM
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My grandmother had a stump left from a tree and put a whiskey barrel of flowers on top and then surrounded it with other pots, it looked really good.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 12:06PM
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jannoel_gw(z5b IL)

Plant vines at the base to grow up it and put a container of cascading plants on top to grow down. 12 feet is really high. Why did they leave so much stump?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 3:42PM
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quirkpod(7 Lewisville NC)

Gosh. I am crazy! I meant to say a 12 inch stump, sorry. I would still enjoy hearing more from everyone. All of your ideas inspire me, both for short and tall stumps. FYI: I dug a large bed to surround the stump and have planted strawberries in it. This took several days and was backbreaking! It is now a rich, fluffy, enriched soil. I can sit on that stump and gorge myself silly with strawberries. I chose June bearing. Each year I will widen it a bit. I suspect I am about to become very popular each June.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 3:52PM
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Use your wooden swivel chair, or use a tractor
seat on the stump.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 4:36PM
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Those tractor seats are getting valuable.
I saw a nice green one in an antique store for $250.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 5:22PM
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Flowerkitty(Z6 or Z5 SE MI)

zinniachick I wish I had that bear in my front yard right now. I am sending copies of your photo to friends it is so great.

On a bird watching site a guy tested various bird baths from simple to fancy. The most popular bath he created by hollowing a depression in the top of a tree stump and filling with water. He said the birds went crazy over it. You could also just put a decorative pan on top of the stump if you dont like the natural look.

A hollowed top could be used to hold a planter of flowering annuals which is also lovely.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 8:06PM
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TwoMonths(So Calif)

I was wondering how you could sit on a chair 12 feet in the air on a swivel chair...would need a ladder, lol.
Now I would put a little door on the bottom for gnomes or fairies...or even a mouse

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 3:40PM
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use2bcapecodr(z5 OH)

Hey, why not! Put a door at the bottom, windows going around it, heading upward like a lighthouse with a winding staircase, and then top it off with a cute, peaked or domed roof...for a gnome or fairie house.

I can picture it...don't know if I explained it very well!

Little stepping stone path leading up to it. A little garden flag hanging next to the door. Little potted flowers on either side of the door. I want one!


    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 6:23PM
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You could make a concrete PILLOW to put atop the stump. Someone posted those a long time ago at hypertufa forum. They took a round cushion, put plaster of paris on it, and then removed the pillow and poured in concrete or hypertufa, had to break the plaster mold when the concrete set up, and voila, a pillow! They used a couderoy pillow, and it looked really good! Somewhere there is a site where they sell those??? Google concrete pillows.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 7:19AM
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I just read about this is a garden book yesterday. You can hollow out some of the middle, put some soil in it, and in the fall plant tulip bulbs. After they come up and bloom in the spring, take them out and replace them with other flowers( they suggested pansies, ferns, and varigated sage) I've also seen a neat stump planted with Hens & chicks, and I always wanted to try it.
But the most important thing to do with it is to have fun and be open to your creativity.

Root Woman

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 9:55AM
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I have a tree stump thats about 3 feet in diameter and four feet high. Does anyone know if the top (flat part) of the stump can be painted? With what type of paint? I have a large planter on top but would like to seal in the top against the weather. Thanks, Carol

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 12:09PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I haven't seen this suggestion - or did I miss it?

What about placing a shallow saucer on top for a birdbath?.You can use a generic terra cotta saucer or get creative w/ a metal, glass or concrete 1....

I found a coupla neat things to use in my garden @ local thrift shops - a glazed baking dish - 18"round, 2" deep & a lovely deep blue that almost looks black, a very large stainless steel pan lid w/ a removable knob, & a pyrex flan dish - also approx. 18" dia.

I love birdbaths - & so do the birds & other wildlife = )

Of course, you could also leave it dry & put birdseed in it.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 9:47AM
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pickles_ca(zone 6a)

I've got one too - the middle is starting to rot out so I'm going to add soil and some wave petunias.

I also wanted to let you know that you are not crazy - when you post " to the title - it always comes out at '. To avoid this - you can put two "" - then it will read''.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 3:23PM
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gordon43812(z6 OH)

I have one also. I have drilled a few holes out put a large metal pot with wave petunias on it waiting till it kinda rotted. This year I was able to dig out the center to use instead of a pot. If you set a pot on it just try to spray under the pot every now and then to keep weird things away.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 11:24PM
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Sorry, but this isn't an applicable suggestion. I've been reading this thread because I have to have a 5ft. diameter tree taken down (almost all dead & 9 ft. from the house) and I just yesterday got permission from the HOA. And I was wondering what to do with the stump. . . Well, the lightbulb went off in my head today & I'm gonna have it cut with a 5 FOOT stump and use that as the base for a treehouse for the grandkids! And I'll build a fairy garden under the platform. . . .

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 1:09AM
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Keep a close eye while its being cut. I wanted mine left with about 3 feet. I was at work and DH wasn't paying attention at the time, and they cut it right near the ground, even though it had been marked by one of their men. GGGRRRHHH.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 7:33AM
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Why didn't I think of that!?! I have been stumped (pun intended) on what to do with a 3ft diameter by 4ft high stump in my back yard. Now, if I can get the ambition, I am going to use twomonths and use2bcapecodr's ideas and make a gnome hut. Ohhh.. the visions going through my mind right now! LOL I will be on the lookout for the perfect size gnome. I tend to get these ideas and never quite get them off the ground. Hopefully this will be a different story. Can't wait to see DH's face when he hears this one!!! He already thinks I am crazy (with some good reason! LOL).

I am glad I found this thread. Thanx quirkpod, for starting it, and thanx to everyone for the ideas especially twomonths and use2bcapecodr!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 12:22PM
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What DH had to say...

I emailed him at work and told him that I had an idea of what to do with the stump. I said that I wasn't going to tell him what "the idea" was, because he would think I have lost it. I thought you all might get a laugh from his reply, or maybe even inspiration. LOL

This is what he had to say...
"I already know you have lost it. I can only imagineÂ.lets seeÂ..maybe put a hole in the middle, place an umbrella in it and make it the centerpiece for our outdoor furniture??.....carve it into a chair?......make it the pivot point for a giant see saw?......plant a tree in the middle of it and watch it grow???....make it a platform for a giant bird bath?....make it a secret passage way into the house (like on HoganÂs heroes)?"

Thank goodness he is a tolerant guy!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 1:00PM
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sereneseen(z4 IA)

I saw the coolest idea for a stump in gardening magazine this month. A wire fence was attached around the top of the stump. The fence extended the above the fence by almost two feet. The inside circumference of the fence was then lined with moss . Dirt was filled in the middle of the fence and a variety of plants planted at the top. Then plants were planted in the outside circumference of the moss covered fencing. It was really beautiful as plants came out the side of the moss lined fence and hung down over the stump. Sorry that I can't remember the name of the magazine.

I hope this all made sense.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 12:31AM
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Hi All! Somewhat of a newbie here. Thought I had been a member here last year but they couldn't find my e-mail address. Anyway...I have a large log which came from a tree we cut down. It's as big as a tree stump, but I can put it wherever I want. I came looking for ideas to preserve the stump. I have one of those resin bears with a welcome sign from Wal-Mart and I have to move him from his current location. I wanted to put him on the stump at the side of my garden in my front yard. The stump has a small indentation in it from where there was a fork in the tree. I put that end down and I thought, "I can make it a gnome home!!" Exciting to see other people have the same idea. I found some hose guides at Wal-Mart with male and female gnomes on them. My honey is going to cut the bottom stake off and I will just bury the guide part of them into the ground for support. I could not find any other gnomes small enough for my little"door". Going to put some flowers around it as well. Thank you used2be and nottaclue for helping me find ideas to embelish. I like the little stepping stone idea! Now, does anyone know how I can seal off that log so it won't rot away? Also should I set it on some gravel or stone or something so it's not in direct contact with the ground? Love this website. Turning ito a gardening fanatic! :)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 7:07AM
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I have two short cherry tree stumps and want them out of there. I don't want to pay for stump removal - again.

I guess I don't care what people put on them; they are ugly to me.

There is some stuff you can buy to paint them with, but I don't know how long it takes them to rot away.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 10:38AM
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use2bcapecodr(z5 OH)

My problem isn't what to do with the stump...I can come up with a million and one neat's what to do about all the little off-shoots coming up around that area of the yard from it. We're really behind things around here, because of all the trouble I've had since my leg surgery, and the darned things are starting to look like little bushes!! I have to wait for DH to dig them out, and it's driving me nuts!

I love the table I made from the stump using an old cast iron floor grate wedged on top, but I sure don't need little bushes popping up all around!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 4:05PM
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muddy_hands(z10 S. Fl.)

I put a statue of St. Francis on one stump and potted plants on others. Looked great. Someone else I know suggested the top of a bird bath.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 10:25PM
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donnaz5(Z5 NY)

i've been waiting for one of my trees to die so i could have that exact thing!! in my mind...i would go to the garden center and get one of those fake faces that are made to look like bark and apply them, then dig out the center and plant a trailing plant,(probably clematis), they look gorgeous with roses... and plant 2 climbing roses, one to go up each side...alot of climbing roses only get to 12 feet...that's my 12' stump!!! donna

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 10:43PM
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Maybe you could dig a hole in the top of it and set a gazing ball into the crevice??

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:55PM
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i had a huge walnut cut down (loved the shade; couldn't take one more near-fall on those bloody walnuts, though).

here's how i handled the sprouting: i snipped all the new growth, then scrubbed all 'round the nubs with a wire brush. i then applied shellac (NOT polyurathane) to each nub.

to deal with the critters that set up housekeeping on the sawed-off top, i sanded like mad; made a putty of sawdust and watered-down elmer's glue-all, and slathered it into the cracks where the critters were. i then sanded again.

no more critters--though i intend to sand the top once more, then treat it, too, with shellac.

i'm thinking of adding dirt so it's about one-third of the way up the stump, then planting cosmos and rudebekia there. not sure what to do about the top (the sun in the summer here is brutal).

i'm also tempted to be lazy and plant something that'll just climb on it--like my poor boston ivy that's been patiently waiting in a pot for a permanent home. hehe.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 6:23PM
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We had a huge maple cut down and was left with the ugly stump. The first year filled a plain black garbage bag with dirt, covered it with dried moss and planted plants on the bag. I planted some ivy and catmint along with the flowers and now you can't tell the plants aren't growing out of the stump.

Here is a link that might be useful: My garden

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 9:08PM
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vikki083(Z7 WA State)

If the stump is going to be the center of your strawberry garden I probably would not put a bird bath there. I try to keep the birds away from the berries. Maybe an you need an owl statue there.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 4:08PM
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When we purchased our condo, we found a very nice wooden box outside, quite large (maybe 3'x3'). We thought maybe it was a storage box. When we lifted the lid, we found an old tree stump underneath it. The box can theoretically be used for seating, but because our patio is not that big, we placed certain plants on top of it, thus adding dimension to our small patio (different plant heights), and giving us more free space to put a small table and toys for the boys. It even has sculpted shapes around it. It is very nice. Personally, I'd rather just get rid of the box and the tree completely (to give us more square footage), but something tells me that it wasn't done, because of the money / effort it will take. At least it looks nice for now...

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 4:18PM
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This is a great thread, but I'm wondering why there aren't more pictures. I'd sure like to see some of your ideas.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 4:50PM
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byrdlady(7b NC)

I also have several stumps and didn't take the picture I really wanted to show you.... I potted 3 knock-out roses and put the biggest pot on the stump and put the other 2 next to it, but on the ground. It came out great and made an instant color spot in the yard. Here is another idea.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 8:42AM
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After seeing your stump, BYRDLADY, and FLAGTRUCK'S gardens (she's on the Garden Junk side) w/pedestals of every medium yesterday, I now wish I had left some stumps of the five pine trees I had taken out a couple years ago. I now think they are assets in a garden instead of eyesores!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 4:00AM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

The stump in front of this tree had to be cut down because of emereald ash borers. My husband just set a birdbath bowl on it - looks like the "tree man" is always keeping an eye on the birds! The rock in the birdbath keeps the raccoons from tipping it over.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 7:08AM
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Oh, what a neat idea on the stump and I LOVE the tree face. Did you fashion that yourself, or was it purchased? I've seen the face kits in stores, but none w/features as pronounced as this one.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 7:12AM
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A gnome home would be my first and favorite choice for an old stump. In fact we brought a stump back from our daughters in Ohio to make a gnome home from since we have no trees to cut down for stumps!:) I can just imagine what people on the road thought when they saw this hugh stump riding shotgun in the back seat of our car!! Now all I have to do is get out there and do it!

Be Safe, Rach

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 4:46PM
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Hi Rach. I've been checking this site for weeks, and find no activity here. I THINK this was the old GJunk site before we were given our own forum. Too bad it's not active. Same was true w/the Stained Glass/Mosaics, but we have activated it in the last few weeks, mainly so we can post mosaics that aren't garden related. Still not what I had hoped, but it just takes a few to get things going. Nice to see you here.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 6:06PM
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I love all these ideas... I have a suggestion well more like a question...

I am in process of building a cabin, but there is no power so I will need to install solar panels problem is this means I need to cut down some trees and install a tall pole for the panels. Is there any way that I could cut the trees and then use the tall stumps as support for the panels? I was thinking of an array across 4 or five tress with it's own frame bolted to the tall tree stumps.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 11:25AM
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We have a 12 foot tall tree stump in our garden that was left that tall because the tree company charged less to not have to remove those large bottom sections from a relatively inaccessible back yard. I asked them to make a couple extra cuts to the top of it, forming a point like a roof peak. An inverted v . Then I had my husband put large pieces of bark overlapping like shingles (you could purchase cedar shakes to do the same) to cover the "roof". Then we drilled a hole to look like the entrance. Squirrels sit or lie on top, and now that the wood is beginning to decay, woodpeckers and other birds have been checking out the hole and pecking at it to enlarge it.... I have encouraged ivy to grow up it (it's shady) and when it turns red in the fall it looks pretty. Also, we found a true-to-scale wooden bird and attached it to the trunk. I love it. I had been thinking of carving a bunch of steps in a circular arrangement up the outside of the trunk, but since it was an oak, it has retained it's bark and really looks great just as is. I'm looking forward to all the fungi , etc. it will probably provide as it decays, and who knows, the birds may become successful someday at hollowing it out.
This is my first comment on the forum, so I don't know how to post a picture yet, but you get the idea.....

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 8:50PM
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I made a rock out of my left over stump with concrete. Now I have a nice garden rock instead. I looked up how to do this on youtube. I have a second stump I am creating a gnome hut out of.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 2:56PM
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