Sometimes, your budget may hold you back from making major changes in your landscaping. Youve got to look for ways to create an attractive outdoor environment while saving money. Unfortunately, extreme couponing wont help you pay for stump removal. So, you have to work around unsightly dead tree remains until you can afford a more permanent solution. Here are a couple of ways our YardShare members have incorporated tree stumps into their landscape design:
Now You See It,
Now you dont. This stump blends into the rest of the yard after being turned into an impromptu occasional table. Here's the before...
Its hard to tell if thats a decorative vase or a beer bottle sitting on the flat stump surface, but that just adds to the down-home appeal. One reason this design kinda works is that theres a carved wooden statue of about the same height on the opposite corner of the lounge area.
When guests visit, the owners could claim that this wood totem used to be a tree stump too. Then, they could imply that they just havent gotten around to carving and staining the remaining stump and turning it into a work of art. With a straight face (and a sufficiently beer-lubricated audience), it might be possible to pull off this before and after story.
The Giving Tree
Dave in Kentucky didnt have the heart to uproot this 100 year old water maple after it died. Instead, he left the stump in place right smack dab in the middle of the backyard patio. The heart of the tree had rotted out, so he stuck a table umbrella in there and cemented it in place. Dave removed the bark with a chainsaw and cut in a footrest around the table base. Then, he stained and lacquered it to match the premade wooden stools. With proper care, this outdoor table might still be in use another hundred years from now!
If you have a tree stump in your front yard, turning it into a table probably wont work very well. But what about making it the base of an unusual flowerbed? Strawberry pyramids are a type of raised garden bed constructed out of concentric circles. You could easily adapt one to be set up with the stump in the center. The sides of the stump would be concealed by the rings of flowers and you could set a decorative urn or other planter on the top to finish it off. Here's an example you can buy from Miller Nurseries.