Stump removal and stump grinding are widely accepted ways of getting rid of the remainders of what used to be a tree. Most consider a stump unsightly and prefer to have it removed or ground by a professional landscaping service. But there are also clever ways to use or design an existing tree stump to your landscape’s advantage.

Depending upon the overall circumference and height of a tree stump, consider using it as a part of your landscaping furniture. An appropriately sized tree stump can serve as either an organic lawn chair or table. Add personal touches to provide decorum and comfort. A water-resistant chair cover can be placed upon a stump to provide cushion for those who sit upon it, or a plastic tablecloth can be added to add a homey touch for a picnic or outdoor barbeque.

Tree stumps that are not large enough to accommodate any manner of organic furniture can be used in other creative ways.

With careful use of woodworking tools, aesthetic designs can be carved into a tree stump. For the more experienced woodworker or artist, replicas of one’s home and property, landscapes, wildlife, the first initial of the family surname or a favorite sports team’s logo can be designed. For the more novice woodworker or artist, simpler designs can be accomplished. Basic curlicues or shapes should be easy enough for the novice to design while still adding texture, depth and character to the stump.

A tree stump can also be used in ways to support wildlife, much like a feeder. Carve an opening into the top of the stump, and line it with plastic to prevent moisture and molding, as well as to assist in easily changing out types of feed. Then, fill the opening with bird or squirrel feed. Collect nuts, seeds or dried corn cobs, and place them in the stump for squirrels.

Alternatively, carve out the top of the stump deeply and widely enough to accommodate the dimensions of a shallow bowl that can be filled with rainwater, or tap water during times of drought, to serve as a birdbath. Other wildlife, such as squirrels or deer, may find it beneficial, too. The use of a bowl allows the property owner control and ease when it comes to changing out the water. This is especially important during the summer months when standing water becomes stagnant and may create a breeding ground for unwanted insects like mosquitoes.

For those who care to provide food, water and other provisions for wildlife, surrounding trees within the vicinity of a stump that acts as a feeder or birdbath are advantageous because they provide cover. This is a virtual guarantee that you will always have the pleasure of wildlife watching no farther away than your own landscape. A professional Austin tree trimming service can assist in the proper trimming of limbs to maintain the viability and structural integrity of your trees while still providing you with visibility to the wildlife that visit your property.

Finally, consider using a stump for planting. A well-carved stump can be filled with soil and have flowers planted in it. Leave the carved opening empty, add potted plants, and change them out according to the seasons. For example, add tulips during the spring or poinsettias during the winter. Or, have a constant state of greenery by planting moss or ivy on the stump instead.

An experienced Austin tree care service can remove a stump if you so desire. Otherwise, there are many ways to make a stump as unique as the family on whose property it exists.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit

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