Create a Fountain from a Tree Trunk

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I'd always loved walking in forests and woodland areas, but I never really took the time to learn about the different species of tree — they all looked the same to me! That all changed when a relative gifted me a beautifully detailed book on local wildlife. From there, I was on a mission to learn all I could about trees, from oak to elm, beech to ash. I've set up this site to share my journey with you. Watch out for fun tree facts, tips on caring for trees on your property, and advice on tree planting and removal.


Create a Fountain from a Tree Trunk

6 December 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If you have a tree removed due to storm damage, your local tree-service contractor will dispose of it for you if required, but why not save some of the tree's trunk and turn it into a really unusual fountain for your garden? You'll need a degree of basic DIY experience for this project.

Here's how to do this.

What you'll need

  • tree trunk
  • belt or palm sander
  • drill and drill bit
  • wood preservative
  • weather-proofing sealant
  • 80-litre plastic container
  • gravel
  • fountain pump
  • PVC conduit
  • threaded pipe adapter
  • ball valve
  • wooden decking boards (waterproofed)
  • metal screen
  • silicone sealant

How to do it

Unless you're confident with a chainsaw, it's a good idea to ask your tree-service contractor to cut the tree trunk into a suitable length for your project.  Bear in mind that the size of the trunk will determine the height of the finished fountain.

  1. Start by sanding each end of the trunk so that the surfaces are even. The quickest way to do this is to use a belt or palm sander.  
  2. Now drill a hole through the centre of the trunk, slightly wider than the diameter of the pipe that you will use for the fountain.  
  3. Next, spray the ends of the trunk with wood preservative to prevent mould, following the manufacturer's directions.  
  4. Now you'll need to apply several coats of weather-proofing sealant to either end of the trunk. This is important to prevent the wood from rotting over time.  
  5. Your next job is to dig a hole for the fountain. The hole must be big enough to take an 80-litre plastic container, which will act as the fountain basin, plus a few extra centimetres.  
  6. Place a few centimetres of gravel in the bottom of the hole to provide drainage.  
  7. Next, set the container into the hole and set the fountain pump in the middle of it. Be sure that the top of the container is level.  
  8. Next, make a trench to hold the power cable for the pump. You'll need to slide the cable through a PVC conduit to protect it before you refill the trench.  
  9. Now connect a ball valve to the water output for the pump via a threaded pipe adapter.  
  10. Place a metal screen over the pump and basin, making holes to accommodate the power cable and fountain pipe and to allow you access to the pump for future maintenance if required. Push the fountain pipe through the hole you've made and connect it to the ball valve.  
  11. Next put two boards across the screen on each side of the pipe. Put the tree trunk over the pipe, allowing a piece of pipe to stick out while the trunk sits on the boards.  
  12. Put a wide bead of silicone sealant around the pipe to stop leakage.  
  13. Fill the fountain basin and plug in the pump to start the flow of water through the fountain, and adjust the ball valve until the flow is as you want it.

With a little time and effort, you can utilise part of a discarded tree trunk to make an unusual fountain focal point for the centre of your garden.