Tree stumps are for more than just sitting. In fact, there are quite a few creative ways to utilise a tree stump and avoid the costly process of tree stump removal. If you have recently done some clearing in your garden and have been pondering what to do with a leftover tree stump, consider incorporating it into your landscape. A tree stump can easily be transformed into a natural bird bath that not only looks great, but also provides supplemental water for wildlife.
Clean the tree stump. Use a garden hose to remove any dirt or debris that may have built up on its surface. Pull off any fungus that may be growing on the top of the tree stump.
Hollow out the top of the stump. The hollowed out area will serve as the bowl of the bird bath. Remove the inner wood using a drill, hammer and chisel. Drill holes along the top of the stump to loosen the wood, and use the hammer and chisel to chip away at the loose wood.
Mix up a bucket of cement according to the manufacturers instructions. A quick set concrete should be sufficient to create the bowl of the bird bath. Pour a small amount of the concrete into the depression that you made in the tree stump.
Use a trowel to spread and smooth out the concrete to form the bowl. Continue the process of spreading and smoothing the concrete until the bowl is completed. The concrete should cover the bottom of the depression and the sides as well.
Allow the concrete to set for the recommended amount of time. The concrete hardens in approximately 15 minutes, but should cure for at least 24 hours before you fill it with water. Fill the tree stump bird bath with water after the 24 hour waiting period has passed.
Clean the tree stump bird bath at least once a week. You can do this by using a cup to scoop out the water. Refill the bird bath with a garden hose. Drop in a bird bath water cleaner tablet after every water change, to keep it cleaner longer.
Don't chisel too far into the trunk -- no more than 5 or 7.5 cm (2 or 3 inches) deep -- because birds will bathe and drink only in shallow water. Make sure that you allocate a period of time in which you will not be disturbed when you spread and smooth the concrete. The concrete sets quickly and if you are interrupted, it could harden before you are able to come back and complete the job.
Tips and warnings
- Don't chisel too far into the trunk -- no more than 5 or 7.5 cm (2 or 3 inches) deep -- because birds will bathe and drink only in shallow water.
- Make sure that you allocate a period of time in which you will not be disturbed when you spread and smooth the concrete. The concrete sets quickly and if you are interrupted, it could harden before you are able to come back and complete the job.