The Q&A Archives: Preserving A Tree Stump

Question: I have just cut doen a large oak tree and ask that a stump be left to be used as a table. I would like to protect the stump from insects, rot, etc. Any suggestions as to how to do so?

Answer: Although eventually rot and insects will probably take their toll on the portion that is underground, you can help delay the process by covering the exposed cut side to keep out rain and snow. You could either seal it with water sealer (as for a wooden deck) or perhaps cover it with a glass or plexiglass table topper or a piece of slate or even a festive patterned oilcloth -- whatever appeals to you. When you cover it, use shims so that air can flow between the cover and the stump so that condensation doesn't develop on the wood. Enjoy your table!

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