Landscaping Ideas for Tree stumps
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Landscaping Ideas for Tree stumps

Disguise an ugly tree stump by covering it.

While you may choose to have stumps removed, sometimes the stump is too large, or removal is not cost-effective. Instead of just living an unattractive tree stump, incorporate it into your landscape by covering it. Disguising an eyesore like a tree stump is simple, and you can choose a method that will look best in your yard.

Climbing Vines

While some species of climbing vines require considerable maintenance, they can be effective in hiding an unsightly tree stump. A flowering vine not only hides the stump, but adds color and texture to your yard. Plant vines well away from other plants and prune the vines back annually to avoid having your stump cover taking over. Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.) and clematis (Clematis spp.) are poisonous, so don’t use them where children or pets play. Creeping fig (Ficus pumila) is an evergreen vine that provides a dense covering, but it can be slow-growing initially. Climbing roses (Rosa spp.) can turn the stump into a beautiful and fragrant landscape feature if you add supports like a small trellis near the stump, and train the roses to grow over the stump and up the support.

Stump Art

If you’re handy with paints or carving tools, an ugly tree stump can become a work of art. Use carving tools, such as chisels, to create a garden sculpture. For example, a tree stump in your front yard can be used as a welcome sign. Remove the bark from the front side of the stump and sand the wood smooth. Chisel or use a wood-burning kit to burn your name or a welcome message into the wood. Use stain to highlight your sign and surround the stump with flowers or other ornamental plants. A stump in the middle of a play area can also be painted to allow your children to engage in make-believe play. For example, paint a face on the stump, or a garden-themed scene with fairies or gnomes.

Display Case

By working with the tree stump and using it as a garden display case, you turn it from an annoying eyesore to a natural attraction. Use a tree stump to display other landscape elements. For example, place a fountain on top to conceal the stump, using the stump as a pedestal that highlights the water feature. Place garden ornaments, which sometimes get lost on the ground, on top of the stump to make them stand out. Or, place a container of plants on top of the stump.


A hollow stump makes a natural planter. If your stump isn’t hollow, you can still hide it under flowers. Chip away the center of the stump with the pointed end of a pick mattock. As the hole grows larger, use the wide, flat end of the mattock to remove the wood. Leave a minimum 3-inch border around the hole and make a hole between 4 and 8 inches deep. Drill drainage holes into the sides of the stump so they slope downward, and add a layer of gravel at the bottom to ensure good drainage. Fill the stump hole with soil and plant flowers or herbs.