How to Dress up a Tree Stump

by Carole
We will be getting a tree cut down in a couple of months. The process already started and the poor thing is now denuded of all branches and foliage. The tree surgeons will be back in couple of months to finish the job. The reason: it overhung the neighbours place and as it was prone to dropping the odd stick, the council saw fit to request it's removal. Anyhoo...... does anyone have any ideas on how to dress up the stump as we won't be getting stump grinding done upon removal. We will have thrown enough money at it by then already! Here is what is left of our poor tree. Any suggestions for when this is going to be 'stumpy'?
q how to dress up a tree stump, gardening, landscape, This gum tree will be reduced to a mere stump in a couple of months how to make the stump look more pretty and less stumpy
This gum tree will be reduced to a mere stump in a couple of months - how to make the stump look more pretty and less 'stumpy'!?
  18 answers
  • Marlene Jansma Marlene Jansma on Sep 07, 2013
    leave it about 5 ft tall and plant a pretty vine at the base to grow up it, (clematis) and get some pot hangers and hang pots with flowers staggered all around it

  • Kathleen M Kathleen M on Sep 07, 2013
    Poor tree, poor you for having to bear the cost, hope the neighbors miss the cooling shade it offered up to them. How about finding some one gifted with chain saw carving? do a google search for "stump carving" there are some beautiful examples ( not all bears lol ) I remember driving thru Biloxi and on the median strip some of the huge old Oaks that were destroyed by Katrina had been carved in the most lovely ways... or what @Marlene Jansma said makes sense too tho... I just almost always think of art first lol...

    • See 1 previous
    • Carole Carole on Sep 08, 2013
      @Kathleen M Hi Kathleen. One idea I did have was to make the top of the stump into a chess board - mark out and paint up (but not sure if resin will ooze through this on a hot day?) then get some chess pieces carved from some of the wood from the trunk or limbs. All comes down to budget really though and I think that might be a little expensive.

  • Julie J Julie J on Sep 07, 2013
    @Carole here's what I did this year, and it's doing great!

    • Carole Carole on Sep 07, 2013
      @Julie J Now that could work! What is the plant you have there?? Very pretty!

  • Carole Carole on Sep 07, 2013
    I would love to do that but as it is a gum tree, if we leave more than a stump it is likely to try to grow back! The council wanted it removed close to the ground. A pity as I think this idea is a good one.

  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Sep 07, 2013
    geesh sounds like the council needs to get their head out of their rumps...i think i would put a tombstone sign say rip old friend lol council would probably choke xx

    • Carole Carole on Sep 07, 2013
      @Chris aka monkey Well the tree was leaning over in the direction of a neighbours garden and they complained about the debris that dropped from it. It was assessed 3 times by council in the space of 6 months! First two times we were told it was not diseased but had been under stress at some point due to the person who built our house building too close to the roots. It put up a 'lions tail' in response to the stress. It did drop a lot of debris so in the end the council said we should cut it back or cut it down. As it had been the focus of so much angst and attention we had the branches all removed and the trunk will follow. It is sad but we are trying to keep emotion out of it and just deal with where we are at now with it. Not sustainable to leave it as it is as removing all the branches puts the tree under more duress and it now needs to come down. Others who live nearby have also been sad to see it go and have commented on it but not much you can do when council threaten to issue an order to remove. More cost and more bad feeling all round.

  • Nancy Dearinger Nancy Dearinger on Sep 07, 2013
    place an over-sized bird bath basin on it, with plantings around the basin.

    • Carole Carole on Sep 07, 2013
      @Nancy Dearinger Thanks Nancy. I would probably do this but our dog has the run of the garden where the tree stump will be. Perhaps not fair on the birds as they may not use it and could even put them in danger if they chose to use it with a dog in the yard. I don't think she would hurt the birds but she does love to chase the cockatoos and magpies to make them take off. She thinks it is a great game!

  • Julie J Julie J on Sep 07, 2013
    Coleus is in the middle with Kennilworth Ivy (be careful - it's a spreader), strawberries and some other groundcover that I can't remember. It's all doing great. I didn't round out the top, just added soil and some extra bark around the sides so it was deep enough.

  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Sep 07, 2013
    so true and enuff bad feelings are already out there sorry xx

    • Carole Carole on Sep 07, 2013
      @Chris aka monkey Thanks, I think we just have to suck it up and make the best feature we can now out of the remains once the trunk is down! Might be able to make a pretty feature from the stump!

  • Carole Carole on Sep 08, 2013
    As coincidence would have it - a friend just sent me this photo of the stump that was left when council removed a tree that overhangs their verandah. As this council land abuts bushland, my friend and her hubby get to use it as part of their back yard. Lucky them as the council paid for the trees removal - so no cost to them. Here is what my friend did to dress up their tree stump. I love it but I don't think our budget will run to orchids!

  • Kathleen M Kathleen M on Sep 14, 2013
    Hi @Carole if the chess board is un~doable because of cost of pieces how about checkers? Heck you could paint rocks red and black or use plastic jar lids..... good luck with it what ever you decide to do:)

  • Frankie Laney Frankie Laney on Sep 26, 2013
    I would just get a nice plant, put in a pot and sit it on the tree stump

    • Carole Carole on Sep 26, 2013
      @Frankie Laney I think you may be right. Simple but effective!

  • Laura Laura on Sep 27, 2013
    Cut it off at table hight. Add a table top and chairs. Drill a hole for an umbrella.

  • Joyce Joyce on Sep 27, 2013
    you can leave it a little taller and have one of these guys with chain saw designs carve it into something nice for your garden, totum pole ,bear, or animals or just a design, or decorated fountain coming off of it....beautiful, will last a life time....there are companies that do these, I got one right down the road...

  • Carole Carole on Oct 04, 2013
    For the moment I have decided to put an oval metal drinks cooler/ice bucket on legs on the stump. This is planted up with yellow carnations which are flowering well. It does not fill the space, but it looks fine and better than nothing. The tree guys made a good job of the removal and told us it was probably the biggest eucalypt (gum tree) they had cut down so far this year. Given that we are now in October, that is really something! When the tree surgeon was up the tree - he looked very small from the ground and it gave a good indication of the trees size. I might change the look of it at a later date. The stumps has been levelled off nicely and given neat bevelled edges. Overall, quite happy with the result.

  • Bab Bab on Nov 06, 2016
    I think that's a great idea.

  • Kim Tanti Kim Tanti on Dec 14, 2016
    Do little platforms with fairy garden scenes on each platform.

  • Redtumley Redtumley on Apr 17, 2020

    You can add a tree face!

    Here's a helplful guide to them, Tree Faces: The Easiest Way To Add Personality To Your Yard