Creative Garden Ideas for Tree Stumps

Published July 23, 2018

Ancient Wise Man

An old tree stump in the garden can be an eyesore and difficult to remove. A better solution is to transform that sad, ugly stump into a work of art or other purpose.

This stump was greatly transformed with the carving of a man's face. Try your hand at creating your own. Most stump wood carvers use a chainsaw and a few chisel tools.

Take a Seat

Create a quiet niche in your garden by transforming an old stump into a chair. The back of this chair features a hand-carved tree. The natural moss on the trunk creates mystique.

Welcome Home, Fairies and Gnomes

Transform a tree stump into the perfect home for fairies or gnomes. This home features a stone-lined walkway leading to the front door.

Village Mob Scene

If you're cutting down a group of trees, this design is a clever way to solve tree stumps in a garden. Leave tall stumps to decorate using a favorite theme, such as a village mob scene. You can change the costumes for different occasions and holidays.

Bird Condo Treehouse

A tall stump is an ideal support for a birdhouse condo. You can be as creative with color and style as you want with this design.

Smoke Rings

Express your inner artist with a whimsical figure, such as a reggae dude with a cigar and braided steel necklace.

Redwood Forest Mysteries Fountain

This amazing Redwood Forest Mysteries stump was transformed into two water fountains - one for people and one for pets. Several forest critters peep out from various stump roots. Notice the carved steps help little ones reach the fountain.

Quirky Wood Nymph

This wood nymph clings to part of the stump with a mischievous expression on his bearded face. You can either paint him a bluish gray or allow him to blend naturally into the rest of the stump.

Kids' Art Stump Planter

Get your kids involved in gardening by letting them decorate a tree stump, such as this whimsical kids' art and planter. Provide the paint and brushes and turn them loose to create their own stump art.

Meditating Sage

What to do with the remains of a very old tree? Carve out the face of a sage deep in meditation, of course! The different bumps and imperfections of the stump can be incorporated into the sage's demeanor.

Paint and Plant

Once a shade tree for the patio, this stump is now a large planter. You can paint a stump or you may prefer to use an outdoor sealer. You'll need to dig out the center of the tree and add potting soil. You can use a mix of greenery and flowers for a nice display.

One Too Many Tweets

Get inspired by this clever depiction of mom and dad caring for their three babies. This is a good example for anyone who desires to recreate their own stump art.

Hedgehog Art Display

One way to use an old stump is to give it new life with a dark stain. It is now ready to serve as a pedestal to display art pieces, such as this hedgehog enjoying a day skiing.

Stumpy Scarecrow

It doesn't always require carving skills to transform a stump into a something amusing and different. This imaginative creation was made by nothing more than a baseball cap and a pair of work gloves.

Spring or Easter Centerpiece

A small tree stump can be converted into a unique table centerpiece perfect for your outdoor space. This one uses dyed vines for a nest, a couple of quail eggs and feathers. The artist used a large white egg that's cracked at the top, hinting of the chick about to emerge and announce the arrival of spring. Alternately, you can decorate a taller tree stump with similar seasonal decorations.


A tree can be repurposed to fashion a bench from the stump. Split the trunk in two. Carve out the two stumps to form a trough for the bark side of the trunk length. Secure the new bench in place without the need of nails.

Woodland Planter

One side of this stump is hollowed out and used to grow vines and a fern. If you have a similar stump, add potting soil and create your own mix of plants for a garden highlight.

Niche for Madonna

A tall stump can be carved into a niche for several purposes. This gardener decided to use it as a display for the Madonna and infant Jesus. A candle and miniature flower pot are used to decorate this niche.

Coffee Table

This tree stump was cut into two equal pieces and a wood slab placed on top. This makes a great coffee table for any outdoor setting.

Owl Fun and No Work

This carved owl rises from its vine-covered perch, where it sees everything and everyone coming into the garden. Add an uplight so visitors can enjoy this spooky element at night.

Elephant Decorative Box

A smaller tree stump can be cut to create a one-of-a-kind decorative box. You can seal the wood and use it to store gardening gloves or other gardening essentials outside your home.

Simple Planter

A partially hollowed out stump filled with potting soil can become an ideal natural planter for succulents. This can become the feature piece for a succulent-themed garden.

Birdhouses and Religion

This large stump has religious icons and symbols carved throughout, yet serves as the resting place for several log-styled birdhouses.

Hide and Seek

A large stump becomes the stage for two other wood carvings that give a new spin on Grimm's fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf.

A little creativity goes a long way when it comes to transforming any outdoor or garden space with tree stumps. Get inspired to try one of these ideas for yourself!

Creative Garden Ideas for Tree Stumps