If you have a dead tree in your yard, you need to have a tree service come to your house, assess the tree and help you remove it if needed. However, you don't necessarily need to remove every dead tree in your yard. If a tree specialist says it is safe to keep the dead tree in your yard, you can leave the roots where they are and turn the stump or trunk into something useful or decorative.
Here are five creative dead tree ideas to inspire you:
1. Dead tree treehouse
If you have sturdy dead tree trunks near a living tree, you can use those trunks as supports for a tree house. Before you start building, however, have a tree service look at the stumps to assess their density and strength. If the tree died due to disease, rot or termite infestation, it may be too weak or brittle to hold anything. However, if the tree is a hardwood tree like an oak or a maple and the wood is relatively sound, the trunk can be extremely effective as a treehouse support.
2. Dead tree trunk carving
If tree houses are not your passion, consider converting the trunk of a dead tree into a piece of carved art. You can grab your pocket knife and whittle away the trunk over time. Worst case scenario, if it turns out poorly, you can hire a tree service to remove your efforts and grind the stump into wood chips for landscaping. Alternatively, you can pay a professional carver to carve the tree into a fun design. You could choose anything from a totem pole to a St. Francis statue to a super tall garden gnome.
3. Dead tree garden furniture
If you have a short stump instead of a tall trunk, consider having the stump made into lawn furniture. Just as children like to sit nestled in the high branches of a living tree, you can sit nestled in the comforting embrace of a low slung tree stump made into a couch. Throw a few cushions on your stump couch and place a fire pit in front of your newly carved couch for fun evenings in your yard.
Alternatively, just hire a tree service to come out and remove the trunk and branches. Then, have them level the stump for you. That can make a perfect table. If you want to be able to slide chairs underneath the tabletop, use the stump as a base for the table rather than as the table itself. Then, just fit the stump with a round table top. You can make a tabletop out of a cross section of another wider dead tree, or you can buy an actual tabletop.
4. A dead tree wildlife refuge
Your dead tree doesn't just have to benefit you and the other humans who live with you. Instead, you can turn it into a refuge for your favourite wild friends. Many creatures including birds and bats can make nests in the hollow of a dead tree trunk, and if you have the branches of your dead tree intact, vultures or ravens may even be attracted to perch there.
However, keep in mind, your dead tree isn't just creating a refuge for the creatures you can see. Underground and deep within the dead wood, moss, lichen and other organisms may also call this tree home.
5. Dead stump planter
Instead of trying to attract creatures to your tree, just plant your own organisms. Either hollow out the tree stump on your own, or have a professional tree service help you with that step. Once you have a hole, use the tree stump as if it is a planter and fill it with your favourite flowers or other plants.