HUGE, flat, slanted tree stumps on hill!!!! Help!

sirenacApril 3, 2013

After Sandy I decided to cut two huge trees on the hill directly behind my home (close to my deck that is built INTO the hill). The cutters did NOT fulfill my request to leave a few feet and cut it straight across so I could use the stumps as planter stands. They cut them right to the ground with the slant of the hill (much harder - I have no idea why they did this. I had a knee injury and couldn't watch). Now I have these big useless slabs in the ground. What can I do? I've spent ten years on my garden and hated having to cut those trees and I'm heartbroken about the mess. I'll try to post pix in a day or two. PS - Older gal w knee injury. Easier suggestions appreciated but all welcome! UPDATE: Want to thank all of you for your many suggestions and tips. I'm trying to get the mound covered with dirt and ground covers. I put up two obelisks and they've restored a sense of height. Thank you!

This post was edited by nymphaearosa on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 21:30

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garden2garden(z8 FL)

Hey there older gal :). (Its like the old joke- I can say that because I are one) The stumps will start to decompose in a few years anyway and they won't seem near as important. The reason I can say that is I've been there done that. I was upset that my stumps didn't get cut off so I could put potted plants on them a few yeas ago. Really I have no idea why they do that either, but, done none the less. The stumps are long gone to mulch heaven now.
The only thing left for you to do is make lemonade :)
Easiest thing is plant something fairly vigorous and let it cover the stump. Roses come to mind. Or a less permanent solution would be morning glories this year while you:re trying to decide what to do with those areas.. There are probably many other vines and things that do well in your area.
Gotta let go of the idea you had for that space and go with someting different. After 10 years working on your garden I know you've got some ideas what will work there.
Good luck. Would love to see what you come up with. Donna

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Hi Donna, Thank you for the optimistic post! I have one tree stump on my land that hasn't decomposed completely since the day I bought my home 14 years ago, but since the offending stumps in question are really flat and you have hopes for them, I'll cheer up! I read a LOT of posts about tree stumps here and elsewhere and nothing really clicked as a practical idea for my 45 degree angle "fun house" garden except for your shrub idea (sweep it under the rug or, in this case, a shrub). I got two lilacs at Christmas Tree Shops. I couldn't bear to spend a lot for an "experiment". Wish me (and them) luck. I am enclosing a "BEFORE" photo of one of the looks smaller in the photo. I'll post an "AFTER" when I get a chance.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:21PM
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garden2garden(z8 FL)

Such a pretty area. With the trees gone will there still be enough shade for your hostas or will you have to do everything over?

You know I forget that in FL wood deteriorates a lot quicker. You're right, yours probably won't rot out so quick.

Maybe you could still use them as planters if you build up the one side with bricks or I don't know what something to bring the low side up level, so you could put a pot on it. (it would probably cost a fortune to get someone to come out and cut them off level) .Curious to see what sort of solution you've come up with.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 1:13AM
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Yes, I'm afraid I'll be needing a do-over on most of the area, especially the truly shade loving plants like the hostas. I've already bought some coneflowers. It's like starting all over. And now that I've been up there, it's heart breaking. The place is a complete mess, the beds are more destroyed than I thought. Sigh. The land has always been a major, rocky challenge and it continues to be. I just hope my knees hold up!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:21PM
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I add some blood meal to stumps a few times a growing season and moisten them good the nitrogen helps the breaking down some, and it's an organic source of nitrogen to surrounding plants, also a bit of iron.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 12:36AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I live in the land of stumps and deal with them all the time. Sometimes if they are cut real low I just bury them with a few wheelbarrows of soil. Other times I put a shovelful of soil on the stump and plant Sedums. They come in a lot of different colors, can stand full sun, don't need supplemental water, and they bloom.
This white one in the picture blooms yellow.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:30AM
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That looks really pretty, Mike, and it seems like my best solution. Easy too. Thanks! I will try it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:20PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Glad you like it, nymphaearosa.
I'm old also..... and finally admitting it. My 50th hi-school reunion was a couple of years ago.
I've been into gardening a long time and even did it for a living for over 35 years. Now it's just a hobby. For pictures of my ten acre garden, check out the link below. My site is in need of some serious organization. ;-) So's the garden, for that matter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mostly Garden pics

1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:57PM
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WOW. Your garden is enchanting! Just gorgeous.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:34PM
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I enjoyed your pictures! Just beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:53PM
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I have two stumps like that from an acacia and a peppercorn tree. I poisoned them to not come back with brush killer so they will decompose. You can also sprinkle stump killer pellets around the perimeter and cover with soil which will create organic matter. If you want to do the natural manner of eradication, pour vinegar over each stump, then boiling water a few days after. That will also cause a decomp cycle to commence. I have since planted over one stump. And I have creeping geraniums over the other one to camouflage it.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 1:50AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I have some creeping Geraniums around a stump also. They don't cover the stump because it was cut too high. (On purpose)
I arranged a few rocks, on top of a shovel full of topsoil and added Sedums.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:56AM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

I'm way late to the party, but I wanted to mention for others that I'm using several stumps in my garden as Hugelkultur sources.

They're ugly on their own, do question about it. But I dug out the center so water would pool in there. I frequently pack 'em with coffee grounds (nitrogen) and have started to see decomposition in these sad maple stumps.

Just a couple of thoughts.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2014 at 12:46PM
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