Stump cover?

kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)April 6, 2009

Hi all. This question is not necessarily for just the perennial forum, but I didn't know where else to post it.

I have a small (maybe 2 ft high) old stump that I would like to cover up. I can't think of anything that will do the job. It sits on the western side of the house, so it will get a lot of afternoon sun, not morning sun. Also it is located in a rather moist soil location. I live in a mobile home park, and the park manager was supposed to take it out a long time ago, but never did. I would rather not pay to have it ripped out, just cover it for now. It also sits near (on the stumps northern side) a row of hedges. So anything that might climb might climb into the hedges, which I don't want for hedge trimming purposes. Any suggestions?

Thankyou all,


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christinmk z5b eastern WA

You might have a difficult time in planting something near the stump since the tree roots probably haven't decomposed much. Try taking a stake or pitch-fork and stabbing the ground in various places around the stump. If you find deep pockets of soil then I think it would be fine to plant things around it. If you do find lots of roots you could maybe plant shallow rooted groundcovers around it, like sedum.
I know all about the stump situation! I had some along the fence line from pyramid evergreens. After a few years they rotted enough so I could take an axe/pruners/shovel to them and dig or cut them away to plant perennials. You might be able to do the same if the roots have rotted some and are not too big.
I also have a stump/mound from an old maple tree in the middle of the yard. I was able to cut some of it out, but not all. So I put a wine barrel half on top of it and use it as a planter. You could always put pots on and around the stump. Maybe even a small fountain or birdbath. What about putting a pritty glazed pot on top with an ornamental grass, perennial, or annual in it?
Hope this helps you some Ken!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:16PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I'll probably just try to pull it out myself. It's not a big stump. It is not really in a great place to set a pot either, because there is a wheel chair ramp on the south side, hedges on other side. Thanks for the ideas.
I do have a question though,
Where does one find a half wine barrel? I have looked at garden centers locally and none carry them. All of them online are VERY expensive. I would love to get one to plant some Calla Lily bulbs in for the summer that I bought.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:45PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I saw a wine/whiskey barrel at Lowes last year. I think it was $25 or less. You might also want to keep an eye out for them at the garden departments at grocery stores.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 10:01PM
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What about hollowing the center of the stump if it isn't already and plant a vining type of flower. As it grows you can drape the vine up and down the stump. I am going to use morning glories this year. Last year used lemon balm.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:20AM
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gail_ish(5a ON)

I also saw a picture - someone had cut the top in a triangle (like a roof), and put on some shingles and carved out windows & a door & made a gnome home. Not everyone's cup of tea, I guess, but I thought it was cute.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:29AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

What about a clematis? My autumn blooming one will cover anything. Those grow 30 feet a year and can make a nice mound. Leaves are pretty and the small starry white flowers look and smell lovely. If you have the time you can just check on it every now and then and re-direct any vines that arenÂt going where you want to go around the stump again. IÂm training mine to go up over an arbor so just do this whenever I think about it. If you pick a regular clematis those grow slower and have larger flowers. My folks had a large bush die and could not pay to have it removed (it was about 8 feet tall). My Dad trimmed off all the small twiggy branches and my Mom planted a White Henryii clematis to go over it. In about 2 years it had completely covered the bush and looked beautiful both in and out of bloom.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 12:41PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

We had to cut down a diseased Cherry tree several years ago I don't know if this will be of any help but this is what I did with mine. It gets sun until 4 in the afternoon. I found enough soil pockets to plant what you see.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 1:30PM
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That looks lovely with all the variation of flowers.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 5:53PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

I rotted a stump out in about 3 years. I hacked and chipped until I got a small cavity in the center, filled it with soil and planted what would fit in there....I watered it often and the next year I could hollow more out and planted more flowers. Eventually the sides became so rotton it caved in.
The organisms in the soil and constant moisture causes the wood to decompose fairly rapidly.
Linda c

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 11:08PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Wow, Annette, that's some pretty stump! Actually you can't even see the stump, just the gorgeous stuff.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 9:47AM
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