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Stump Gardening: What to Plant in a Hollow Tree Stump

Updated on May 23, 2021

It's a Stump

It is a maple tree that was hollow. It is a good size. 3 - 4 foot across. It has a lot of decomposing maple innards in it. The chain saw filled it with some saw shavings, so there is a good mix of new and old. Some squirrel put some black walnuts in the hollow of the tree, so there may be a walnut tree growing with my plants. I don't want that.

I think some nice draping flowers. My husband thinks some strawberry plants would be nice. Hack holes in the side of the stump and insert strawberry plants from the sides. Now, I have to consult my seed catalogs and see what is available.

It's pretty much a full sun location now that the tree is gone. It was practically full sun before with the tree not producing much for leaves anymore. As he cut it down, it was almost painful to watch. Almost scary. That tree was one they refer as a widow maker.

Thought Number One

The first thought is getting fertilizer and dirt in the hole. I have heard a lot about the straw bale with human urine added for 10 days to make tomato squares. You dump urine on the bale for 10 days and something else. After the 10 days, you poke holes in the straw bale and insert your tomato plant. Somehow and supposedly, the tomato plants will absolutely thrive and grow their little hearts out in the bale, producing bountiful tomato crops. So, my attention turns back to my stump and the possibilities.

Strawberries would be nice. My husband says that he could put a bunch of notches through the stump and we could insert three or four plants in each hole and fill the middle back in with a mixture of the wood chunks and potting soil. If the strawberries would thrive and grow, we'd have an interesting strawberry pile and a conversation piece.

Drainage is Important

Yes. Drainage is important. Now that we have a huge mug in the yard, there will be water that will get trapped. Even though the majority of it is hollow, it does have a solid outside and the bottom didn't have holes. We'd need to drill through. Actually, he'd have to cut some slits with the chain saw across the bottom, since I don't think that we have drill bits that are quite long enough to go through the bottom.

Of course, there would be some drainage once he put the majority of the wedge holes in the sides.

What's Your Opinion?

If you had a stump, what would you do with it?

A few facts about the stump. We cut the tree down a few days ago and it is full of softened tree insides. Dozey wood, he calls it. Like little pieces of natural vermiculite. A few chain saw shavings. The tree was a Maple and there is lots of sap running freely, so I can only assume that it is filling up with sap as we speak.

The poor thing. The other tree that he hacked a branch off, started dripping sap like a wounded soldier. Yeah, now we're inspired to tap our trees to make a bit of maple syrup. That's another thing to do with these trees.

Years Later

This is how it is today. I think it's been quite a few years that we have had this stump altered like it is. Last year I grew passion flower in it. They cascaded about and were very pretty. This year, I have asparagus beans planted in the top...and, for fun some cucumber plants.

In the three bottom planters, we have strawberry plants. Since the dirt settled over the years, we removed the existing strawberry plants and refilled the planter with a leaf/grass dirt compost combination.

Then, replanted those strawberries and planted a few more.


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