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Rotting tree stump -beneficial to wildlife or risk to plants?

I have a charming 4' high dead tree trunk at the end of my garden. I don't consider it an eyesore.. it has lovely bark and some interesting (bracket?) fungi growing out of it.

Conservationists tell me It's a rare sanctuary for beetles and the like and should be kept.

But gardening sites, even RHS, only seem to want to advise how to destroy/remove stumps.

So which is it? What harm can it do -spread root rot to nearby plants?


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,933
    Leave it.  It would be a great place for spreading some seeds and meal worms for the birds.  Nail in a suet ball or two along the edge.
    Utah, USA.
  • AlliumPurpleSensationAlliumPurpleSensation Kent Posts: 244
    edited April 2018
    I have a stump in my garden due to the lovely ladies and gents here who told me to save it.  I've drilled loads of holes in it for the bees and have made some smaller leaf piles around it. X
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 1,139
    edited April 2018
    Whenever we have a big tree down I always use the logs around the garden for retaining walls, edging etc and leave the stump (usually as there isn’t much other option!), once they start rotting down they’re a wildlife  magnet: beetles,amphibians, wildlice etc. The birds love them. The plants don’t seem to mind in the slightest. Worth bearing in mind that slugs love them too though. We’re completley pesticide free, and very wildlife friendly so it’s never caused a problem as they seem to get eaten before they ever do any damage, but might be an issue for lots of people 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I have used a stump as a raised platform for pots. It's working well. And hosting all sorts of fungi.
  • Jules41Jules41 Posts: 178
    My parents have a dead tree stump and lots of 'mini beasts ' love it! They have attached a bracket and hanging basket on one side - it's lovely. 
  • Valley GardenerValley Gardener Rhondda ValleyPosts: 2,705
    I have several Leylandii stumps which I've decided to keep,(despite buying an expensive stump killer) So far I've planted grasses around them,and use the tops to put Apple's and mealworms for the blackbirds. But they are starting to rot now having been cut down six months ago!
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    Yes, leave it and for all of the reasons stated above.  The only worry would be if you have confirmed the presence of Honey Fungus in your garden and are losing a lot of woody plants, shrubs and trees.  That would be the only case when I'd advise removal.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • PallusPallus Posts: 4
    Thanks all. And yes, Bob.. I'll have a peek under the bark at the base and check there's no paper/mushroom skin-like layer under there that could be honey fungus.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,286
    There should be some sort of fungi rotting if down ... it may or may not be honey fungus. If it is then you have it in your garden ... removing the stump now won't get rid of it. 
    We have stumps in our garden to improve wildlife habitat.  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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