Farm, Garden and The Land > Permaculture, Land Management and Foraging

Planting in Stumps?


I recently purchased a house but the entire property was filled with mature pines, oaks and maple.  We finally had about an acre cleared out so we can start planting fruit trees.  I am torn about what to do with the stumps.   I have seen some people hollow out the centers out of stumps and use them as planters, generally with annuals.  I was wondering about something similar but with fruit trees.  My thought was to cut the stump flush with the ground, hollow out roughly a  foot wide bowl and drill some 1/2" holes through the base of the bowl until I reach soil.  In my mind this does several things.  It saves me the time, money and fuel of renting a stump grinder or mini-excavator and it should speed up the decomposition of the stumps as well keeping the organic material in the ground.

Has any one attempted this with known results or does anyone have any resources about this idea?

I have heard I think on a real old show from Jack or similar that some plants help break down the stump.
If I remember they used tomato plants to help break down process.  The stump would decay at a significantly faster rate.   The vines would dig into the old stump and accelerate the break down.

The idea of drilling holes into the wood has merit by allowing more surface area to speed the break down process.

For one of my old stumps I used that area as a temp compost heap for leaves, and green clippings.  It did seem to speed up the process.
Each time I mowed the lawn, I would take one or two bags to toss over the old stump.

Yeah the idea of the holes is for a few other things too.  It would allow some drainage,  and provide a place for roots to go so it doesn't become root bound.  I would assume roots would make their way through the holes in the stump into the soil,  as they grow in diameter they would eventually start splitting those holes open,  further increasing the the surface area as you mentioned.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version