Trees are one of nature’s most prominent features, providing us with shade, color, and brilliant form that we wish could last forever. Well, they can, in a way.
When these organic monoliths reach the end of their life cycles, you can transform them into something new. Something that continues to be a joyful part of your landscape.
But how exactly can you breathe new life into a tree stump in your front yard, so you don’t have to remove it? Keep reading and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
- 4. Create a sculpture or a piece of decorative art
- 5. Create a fairy garden
- 6. Incorporate into a planting feature
- 7. Build a Bird Table
- 8. Turn it into a piece of furniture
- 9. Carve A Chair
- 10. Build A Bench
- 11. Build A Table
- 12. Turn it into a plant pot for trailing plants
- 13. Use it as a pot stand
- 14. Incorporate a Tabletop game
What to do With a Tree Stump in Front Yard or Garden
There are many beneficial ways to repurpose felled trees and their stumps.
- Chop trunks and stumps for fresh firewood
- Have them milled for construction and renovation projects
- Use them for live-edge home decor
- Have them chipped down for use as garden mulch
But, these efforts are often costly, especially having the tree stump pulled from the ground. Given the inspiring ideas I’m about to show you, why not use your left-behind stumps as a means to express your creativity and add a personal touch to your landscape?
Ideas For A Tree Stump in Your Front Yard
Tree stumps, no matter the size or shape, can be fantastic, no-cost materials for nature-inspired garden art and original yard decorations that reflect the homeowner’s personality.
They can be altered or used “as-is” in just about any landscape design aesthetic, as well.
Below, you’ll see inspired ideas for everything from cottage garden stepping stones to modern birdbaths. From whimsical fairy gardens and play areas for the little ones to practical and interesting outdoor furniture.
Allow these ideas to spark your imagination and create a work of art, from your own tree stump, that is uniquely you.
1. Create stepping stones with multiple tree stumps
Tree stump stepping stones have become a popular project that isn’t limited to a specific design style. If you’re handy with a chainsaw or know someone who is, this versatile application is a great idea.
Stump pieces, of varying sizes, placed in a curved pattern, create a captivating country garden path or front walkway to welcome guests.
Geometric placement, using uniform-sized pieces, will forge a modern aesthetic.
2. Cover it in moss
A moss-covered stump can develop organically, in the right setting. But, you can create this eye-catching showpiece yourself, with a moss starter kit. Using wet mud as your adhesive, simply apply the moss to your stump.
As long as it has enough shade and humidity, you’ll have a beautiful garden feature full of mystery and whimsy.
You can even increase its appeal by introducing mushroom spores, for added dimension.
3. Make a Bird Bath
If you have a sturdy stump, bird baths are another versatile project that can fit with any landscape aesthetic.
The example above utilizes a wide, cast iron pot that works beautifully in modern, minimalist, or formal settings. As do carve and sealed wooden bowls, ideally made from the same tree.
For something more fanciful, take a wide-brimmed pot saucer and adhere it to broken tile or pot pieces to create a mosaic look.
Creative Tree Stump Ideas
Trees hold memories. Maybe your kids spent summer afternoons climbing that old tree. Perhaps, you and your partner started your lives together in the shade of its branches.
So far, we’ve seen some wonderful ways to keep memories close. These next ideas for front yard tree stumps turn the creativity factor up a notch.
Tall stumps are re-imagined as works of art that preserve pristine timber. Magical fantasy lands come to life, in miniature.
Flowers burst forth from unexpected places, giving your landscape a new and dynamic structure. Where wildlife becomes an integral part of your landscape.
4. Create a sculpture or a piece of decorative art
Wood, like marble, begs to be made into something beautiful. Tree stump sculptures convey elegance, interest, whimsy, and personality.
This idea is popular with woodworking enthusiasts. But, local artists can also be commissioned to bring your ideas to life.
Or, you can go full DIY. Using oversized items you have lying around, why not create a whimsical sculpture or art piece of your own?
5. Create a fairy garden
This increasingly popular concept impressively combines natural elements, like bark, twigs, moss, and of course, a tree stump, to create a magical residence for children to enjoy and create stories around.
In recent years, fairy garden kits have filled the shelves of garden centers and online shops. But, as you can see, a little DIY imagination goes a long way toward an enjoyable afternoon project for you and your kids.
6. Incorporate into a planting feature
Hollowed-out tree stumps make stunning vessels for flowering plants, ferns, and trailing vines. Stumps will naturally hollow out as they decay. But, if yours is freshly cut, you can hollow it out by hand.
Simply drill holes throughout the area you want to carve out. Then, chisel away the bits in between. Drill a few holes around the sides, for drainage, and fill it with your favorite plants.
7. Build a Bird Table
Bird tables, versus hanging feeders, are great ways to create shelter and feeding stations while protecting birds (and seed) from squirrels.
Tall tree stumps work best for this. Just make or purchase a large birdhouse/feeder and fasten it to the top of the stump. If squirrels are a problem, spray the lower trunk with mint oil. It’s a pleasant fragrance to us and the birds. But, squirrels dislike it.
8. Turn it into a piece of furniture
Home decor catalogs are full of gorgeous, high-end, tree stump furniture pieces that are professionally designed and crafted for both indoor and outdoor use.
How about creating your own outdoor furniture, at a fraction of the cost, if any? Keeping this beautiful material in its natural environment will result in some fun and functional pieces for your garden. Let’s take a look at a few great ideas.
9. Carve A Chair
A tree stump chair is a marvelous place to sit with a cozy cup of tea. If your stump is surrounded by shade trees, all you need is a log stool to rest your feet on, and you’re good to go.
In open areas, like the one pictured above, an inexpensive patio umbrella and a side stump table, to put your phone or book on, are all you need for a relaxing afternoon.
10. Build A Bench
Tree stump benches can turn your backyard into a parkland oasis. We all know that on long walks, benches like this are a welcome respite.
Beautifully blending into their surroundings, stump benches also create a fantastic seating area around summer bonfires, as well as sculptural interest in winter.
Making a bench like this is as simple as splitting an 18” thick log in two. Use one half for the bench. Then, cut the other into shorter pieces for the legs.
11. Build A Table
This stunning table creatively combines the stump of a very large tree, two milled pieces from its trunk for the tabletop, and several remaining pieces for the benches.
Taking advantage of the hollow space within the trunk for use as a planter.
With a sizable stump that can accommodate a sturdy tabletop, you, too, can construct your own lovely, al fresco dining area. Perfect for casual, weekend gatherings and elegant entertaining.
How to decorate a wooden stump
With so many innovative ideas for repurposing tree stumps, it’s hard to decide which way to go. The size of the stump also needs to be considered.
What if yours isn’t big enough to carve into furniture? What can you do with small stumps? We’ve seen what a transformative effect moss and flowers can have on stumps and how adorable bird baths are.
But, what if your stump has an odd shape or looks to it? What if it’s not in an ideal location for many of the ideas we’ve seen? Take a look at these!
12. Turn it into a plant pot for trailing plants
Short, wide tree stumps are perfect for trailing plants. Especially when you wrap them with chicken wire. This provides support for your plants as they weave their way down the trunk.
Hollow out of the center of your stump, as previously discussed, and fill it with wave petunias and potato vines or whatever strikes your fancy. In no time, you’ll have a waterfall of color.
13. Use it as a pot stand
For something more simple, you can eliminate the need to hollow out your stump, altogether. Just plant a stunning combination of flowering annuals in a pot that’s roughly the same diameter as your trunk and voila! Instant plant stand.
If your stump is in a shaded area, filling your pot with shade plants like small ferns, coleus, heuchera, and forget-me-nots will bring vibrancy and color to that space.
14. Incorporate a Tabletop game
Game tables are a fabulous way to get the kids outside. Short, narrow stumps provide sturdy bases for all types of board games.
Here a tic-tac-toe grid is seared into a wooden tabletop with cute game pieces fashioned out of stones. This is a fantastic weekend project for families to work on together.
But, it’s not just all child’s play. A checker or chessboard could be stenciled on, as well.
Tall tree stump ideas
Now that you know what you can do with short stumps, what can you do with really tall ones? All kinds of fun and surprisingly practical things!
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you oversized tree stumps, you become very clever.
We’ve seen some cute bird tables and even furniture that can be made with tall stumps. But, now it’s time to think a little more outside the box.
These two final ideas are supremely innovative for not only improving the outdoor experience for kids and grandkids but as cost-cutting gardening hacks, as well.
15. Integrate it with play equipment
Incorporating organic materials into a kid’s play area instills in them an appreciation for the natural world while helping to develop large motor skills.
Here, we see a large tree stump being used to give height to repurposed logs for adventurous climbing and a long slide for an exciting descent. Of course, each piece should be tightly secured to the stump for stability and safety, prior to use.
16. Bury it inside a raised bed
Installing raised beds in your garden is a healthy idea for you and your plants, but filling it can be a dubious task.
Nothing is more cost-saving and space-filling than chopped wood. Cut your stump and logs into 12” long pieces and stack them inside your raised beds.
Slowly breaking down, they’ll become part of the soil and infuse it with organic nutrients, supporting a more bountiful harvest.