How to Landscape Around Stubborn Old Tree Stumps With Creative Garden Style

How to Creatively Landscape Around Stumps | DIY Gardening Ideas to Transform Stumps into Stunning Garden Features

Dealing with an unsightly tree stump in your yard after cutting down a tree can be annoying. However, with some creativity and effort, you can transform those stubborn old stumps into unique landscape features that add character to your outdoor space. This comprehensive guide covers various methods and ideas to help you landscape around tree stumps.

Should You Remove the Stump or Keep It?

Before deciding how to landscape around a tree stump, first consider if you want to keep it or remove it.

Reasons to Remove

  • The stump is large and takes up too much space.
  • You want to extend your garden beds or build something over the area.
  • The stump will be difficult to mow or landscape around.
  • Rotting stumps attract carpenter ants and termites.

Reasons to Keep

  • The stump provides a natural pedestal to display yard art or potted plants.
  • Removing large stumps involves major grinding work and expense.
  • The stump has an interesting shape that adds uniqueness to your landscape.
  • The stump helps retain moisture and nutrients in the soil.

If keeping the stump, consider grinding it down so it sits closer to ground level. Then you can begin transforming it into a garden feature!

Creative Ways to Landscape Around Stumps

With an open mind, you can find many creative ways to incorporate old tree stumps into pleasing garden features:

1. Display Potted Plants and Yard Art

Adorning stumps with eye-catching potted plants or art creates perfect focal points:

  • Set colorful pots of flowers on the flat top for stunning contrast.
  • Create mini gardens by nestling small pots into hollows and crevices.
  • Display weatherproof garden art pieces like glass sculptures, bird baths, or chimes.
  • Surround with decorative stones, marbles, or mulch to further define the space.

2. Build Planter Boxes

Convert unsightly stumps into pretty planters:

  • Construct a wooden box frame fastened securely around the stump.
  • Fill with rich potting soil and a lush array of flowers or vines.
  • Try erecting a trellis next to the planter for climbing roses, beans, or honeysuckle.

3. Create Natural Flower Beds

Plant bright flowers directly into the soil around the stump:

  • Clear grass several feet out from the stump to define a planting bed.
  • Amend the soil with compost or manure to improve drainage and nutrition.
  • Select hardy perennials that can handle tree root competition. Ground cover plants like sweet woodruff, lamium, or wild ginger work great.
  • Use the stump contours to create an interesting shaped bed.
  • Mulch around plants to control weeds and retain moisture.

The flowers will beautifully contrast against the weathered wood.

4. Make Into Garden Seating

Flattened stumps work perfectly for creating unique garden seating:

  • Use a chainsaw to saw off any remaining trunk close to the ground.
  • Hollow out the top center to flatten and create a smooth seat.
  • Sand smooth any rough spots. Consider adding wood sealant.
  • Surround with pea gravel or stone walkway.
  • Add a lush plant border around the stump seat with ornamental grasses, ferns, or hostas.

Landscaping Ideas for Different Stump Shapes and Sizes

Stumps come in diverse shapes and sizes, which lend to different landscaping options.

Small Tree Stumps

Compact, rounded stumps from smaller trees make great pedestals:

  • Display glass garden balls or mushroom yard art
  • Hold a tall vase of cut flowers
  • Stack flat rock slates into towers
  • Anchor whimsical wire sculptures

Large, Tall Stumps

Big stumps from larger trees allow room for grander displays:

  • Construct a multi-level planter with smaller pots
  • Create cascading terrace gardens down the sides
  • Hollow out center to hold a bird bath
  • Install solar powered landscape lighting

Gnarly, Twisted Stumps

Uniquely shaped stumps add natural artistry:

  • Pack crevices with succulents or moss
  • Train ivy or clematis to climb the stump
  • Set up fairy garden scenes
  • Preserve the shape with epoxy resin to create garden art

Get creative imagining ideas that suit the particular size and look of your stump!

Techniques for Disguising Less Attractive Stumps

Not every stump can become the star of your garden landscape. For those stubborn unsightly ones, camouflage is key:

Cover with Mulch or Soil

Bury all but the top few inches under:

  • Pile general landscape mulch or wood chips over the stump
  • Mound土 decoratively around the edges
  • Allow vines to crawl across the mulch to hide
  • Plant mosses or low ground cover over top

This hides ugly shortened stumps so only a bit of texture shows through.

Build Planter Box Frames

As mentioned before, erecting planter boxes around stumps does the trick:

  • Use weather-resistant wood like cedar for longevity
  • Add wagon wheels, grapevines, or latticework accents
  • Display cascading flowers or dangling vines to obscure the stump
  • Wrap strings of outdoor fairy lights around planters for added magic

Disguise with Decor and Distraction

Shift the eye away from ugly stumps by surrounding them with beautiful decorations and flourishing plants:

  • Erect trellises and arbors covered in climbing foliage
  • Set up stepping stone pathways leading up to the stump
  • Spotlight vibrant container gardens nearby
  • Install raised garden beds adjacent to hide the sides
  • Position large decorative rocks, yard art, or driftwood logs around the base

With some strategic planning, even gnarly old stumps can be incorporated into lovely garden settings. Get creative with these disguise ideas!

FAQs: Landscaping Around Old Tree Stumps

Still have questions? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How long will the stump last if I landscape around it?

It depends on the type of wood, but most stumps can last over 10 years in a landscape before really rotting down. Oak and cedar take longer to decay than softer woods like poplar or birch. Expect quicker deterioration in damp, shady locations.

Should I put anything on the tree stump to help preserve it?

Applying wood preservative sealants or epoxy resin helps maintain the integrity and appearance of stumps for several years. Be sure stumps are fully dried out first.

What size hole is best for planting flowers around a stump?

Dig holes 2 to 3 times wider than the plant’s root ball, but no deeper. Amend the native soil removed from holes with compost to lighten texture. Most garden perennials need holes at least 8 to 12 inches wide and deep.

How can I kill tree roots under the soil around my stump?

Grinding a few inches below ground level helps destroy larger buttress roots. For small feeder roots, gasoline or high-concentration salt or vinegar treatments may help retard regrowth. Professional herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup) also effectively kill tree roots. Always follow product instructions carefully.

What should I put under potted plants that are displayed on stumps?

Set potted plants atop a decorative base like a stone, slate, iron stand, rhizome shield, or wood round to protect the stump surface. This elevates pots to prevent rotting and provides airflow under the pots.

Further Reading Other Relevant Posts:

The Art of Efficient Stump Grinding for a Gorgeous New Landscape

Aerating Soil, Methods of Soil Aeration

Expert Tips to Ensure Your Lawn and Trees Thrive in Harmony

Transforming Outdoor Spaces: A Guide to Stump Grinding and Landscape Construction

How to Choose the Right Stump Grinder for Your Landscaping or Construction Project

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