10 Creative Ideas for Tree Stumps Stuck in Your Yard

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated March 15, 2022
A small potted cactus with a tag that reads
Photo: Photography by Rayleigh / Moment / Getty Images

Don't get stumped by those old tree stumps

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Just left as-is, tree stumps may not fit your garden aesthetic. But because of their deep root systems, removing tree stumps may not be affordable or practical. 

There are a few options for tree stump removal that may work for you, including DIY chainsaw tree stump removal or professional tree stump grinding, which costs around $320

However, if you don’t want to worry about the hassle or cost, we've found some of the best examples of people making the most of their tree stumps to give you a little garden inspiration. Get creative and make that pesky tree stump an integral part of your outdoor space.

1. Fairy Garden Oasis

A fairy garden oasis
Photo: Courtesy of Lupe Haynes

Lupe Haynes used a mixture of creeping moss, flowers, and succulents to decorate this old, rotting tree stump in her yard. The jagged nature and small diameter of this stump made using it a challenge, but she did a fantastic job in creating this beautiful fairy garden oasis. It's guaranteed to delight youngsters and bring a smile to anyone’s face who encounters it because it's so creatively unexpected.

2. Rustic Guitar Carving

A rustic guitar carving
Photo: Courtesy of M plus F Creations

If you've got a bit of artistic flair and the right tools, why not turn your hand to wood carving? The creators at M plus F Creations did exactly that, carving away at a large tree stump (which took four hours!) and turning it into a rocking guitar. While the creators of this piece focused on their love of music, there's no limit to what you can create if you can carve.

3. Carved Red Kite

A carved red kite
Photo: Courtesy of Alan Wear

Another fantastic example of a wood carving, this red kite from Alan Wear does require a higher degree of skill and more time than the guitar above. This finish on this piece is awesome, with clever use of staining to bring realistic color and depth to the bird.

If you're not an expert but really love this way of repurposing a tree stump, it's a good idea to hire a pro, discuss your design goals, and then let them work their magic.

4. Easter Island Head in the Woods

A easter island head in the woods
Photo: Courtesy of Kate Fromings

We've all heard of the giant Easter Island stone head statues, but how cool would it be to have one in your yard? Or at least a hand-carved wooden look-a-like from Kate Fromings. We love the way this huge head is perched majestically on the craggy, mossy stump beneath. It just adds an air of history and permanence. 

5. Planter Holder

mini cactus in pots
Photo: poco_bw / Adobe Stock

As you can see from the image, there's absolutely no need to get fancy to repurpose a tree stump. You can do something as simple as using it as a plant stand. If you do want to dress it up a little, add some creeping flowering vines or trailing plants like lobelia or sweet alyssum around the base of the stump, making it more of a focal point.

6. Hollowed-Out Stump Flower Bed

 Flower bed in the form of an old stump
Photo: DmyTo / Adobe Stock

If you have a tree stump that's rotting from the center, you can hollow it out pretty easily with the right tools and a bit of elbow grease. Then, fill it with high-quality potting compost and your choice of flowering plants—and voila! You've elevated your tree stump to a charmingly rustic raised flower bed with a riot of colorful blooms.

7. Commemorative Tree Stump Carving

Just married inscription on wood
Photo: subjob / Adobe Stock

If you're the sentimental type, then adding a commemorative carving to a tree stump is a beautiful way to celebrate and remember a specific event, like getting married, the birth of your babies, or the purchase of your home. You could also seal the stump to keep it in good condition for years to come.

8. Tree Stump Throne

A chair made of a tree trunk
Photo: Wirestock / Adobe Stock

There's just something ethereal and fantastical about a tree stump throne. You can imagine the Green Man or maybe a woodland elf taking their rest or holding court in this wonderfully rustic throne-like seat. It's a really simple yet highly effective idea that makes a decorative statement (that’s also functional!). Sealing the interior of the seat also helps preserve it for decades.

9. Mysterious Orb Tree Stump

A glass ball on a rotten trunk
Photo: Wirestock / Adobe Stock

Unexpected and unique, this tree stump holds an acrylic or glass sphere that reflects the sky. This is another excellent example of how effective a simple design can be. It draws the eye and has a rather mysterious aesthetic. If you want to add color, it's easy enough to plant low-growing flowers like pansies or trailing plants that bloom in the spring and summer.

10. Mosaic Tree Stump Seat

Mosaic Tree Stump Seat
Photo: Lijuan Guo / Adobe Stock

This tree stump seat requires a lot of time, patience, and creativity—but the results are stunning. Leveled, sanded, and sealed, the top of the tree stump has a mosaic design applied tile by tile to look like the growth rings inside a tree. And, if you look to the left, you can see the design has been carried down onto the paving slabs, depicting the tree's root.

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