Life After Death (New Uses for Old Wood)

I am always trying to find new uses for old things. To a some extent I'm a recycler, to an even greater extent I'm a pack-rat. It is just a hard thing for me to throw something away that I might want to use someday. Knowing this, it should come as no great surprise that I tried to find some new uses for the trees we cut down over last weekend (Timber!). I've always thought that if you take the time to think about what you have you might find some really interesting ways to re-use your old stuff. One example of that would be the makeshift hoe I mentioned earlier in the week.

Now what could I do with the old wood? Nancy was able to guess one idea, a planter! One of the trees that had to be removed had a cavity where a bird had made its nest. Most of the surrounding area on the tree was also hollow which made it the perfect spot to stick some dirt in to plant a plant! Now in the lower hole there is a caladium. At the top of the log there is another hole where we'll stick in another caladium or something else for the shade garden. I was hoping that when the tree came down the hole could be salvaged to make a birdhouse, but the log was hollow along too much of the trunk which would have made hanging such a large chunk of log on a post or tree impractical.

We also put together a rustic bench to put next to the shade garden (Chey suggested using the stumps for seats, that was pretty close). This was a very easy project to accomplish. First we found two logs that were roughly the same size. We put landscape fabric underneath the area so that no weeds will grow up from underneath the bench area. Then we placed and leveled the logs. A perfect level was not absolutely necessary since we want the water to run off the bench. That will help the bench last a little longer.

We brought a leftover 2" x 12" scrap piece of lumber from the construction of the house, measured it to four feet long, then cut it down to size. We attached the 2" x 12" to the logs and used the chips from the chipped branches as a layer of mulch underneath the bench.

We also used some of the logs as plant stands (Chey was on the ball with this idea too!). This large log from an old fallen cedar tree looks great when you put a large Boston fern on top!

Those are just a couple of the things you can do to give an old tree new life in the garden. In my last post, A Weekend's Work (Logs and their Lives), many people offered some great suggestions on using wood for different uses. Make sure you go back and read those comments!

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