From Shade Giver to Footpath Provider – How to Turn Your Garden Tree into a Quaint Garden Path

If you are planning to have a tree in your garden removed or one of your treasured trees has suffered catastrophic damage due to a recent storm, you may be wondering what to do with its remains. You could keep it to use as firewood or pay to have it removed. However, if this was a tree that you were especially fond of, you may be exploring ways of somehow ensuring that it continues to serve your garden for many more years to come.

You'll be pleased to know that there are various ways of using trees to benefit a garden even if they are no longer living. One such way of preserving your beloved tree so that it continues to benefit your garden is to turn it into a quaint garden path that is as much fun to look at as it is to walk on.

What You Will Need

  1. A Hand Saw or Mitre Saw
  2. A Disposable Bowl
  3. Polyethylene Glycol (Pentacryl)
  4. Gravel
  5. 2 Inch-Thick Wood Slabs

If you happen to own a Compound Mitre Saw, then cutting the tree into two inch-thick slabs of varying shapes and sizes should be a cinch. However, a handsaw and some elbow grease will do just as well, albeit at a slower pace.

Step One: Cutting the Slabs

When cutting your tree trunk and branches into two inch-slabs, remember that it is best to cut your tree as soon as possible after it has been felled. This will prevent severe cracks from forming from the pith (centre) of the wood due to it drying out.

Cut the slabs, then bring them inside and allow them to reach room temperature.

Step Two: Preserving the Slabs

Pentacryl is a consumer version of the wood preservative, polyethylene glycol, also known as "PEG" and prevents wood from splitting as it dries by reinforcing its cells.

Using your disposable bowl, place your slabs of wood into the Pentacryl and leave them to soak for 5 minutes per inch. In other words, for 2 inch-thick slabs, 10 minutes should suffice.

Leave the slabs to dry, ensuring that all sides are exposed to the air.

Step Three: Laying the Foundation

Now, lay your gravel foundation where you plan to place the slabs. This will stop the slabs from moving around or sinking into the soil as you walk on them.

Step Four: Placing the Slabs

Once you have your foundation, you can concentrate on arranging your wooden slabs to create your eye-catching garden path. Combine slabs from smaller branches with the slabs from the trunk to ensure that there are no gaps in the path. You can further increase the beauty of your path by packing soil around the slabs to keep them in place while giving small shrubs and plants, such as thyme, a chance to grow in the spaces between slabs.

By turning your tree into a wooden garden path, you can indulge in a little sentimentality, ensuring that your tree continues to benefit your garden for many years to come. You can use any leftover wood to create other garden features, such as decorative plaques or even a lazy Susan for your dining table. If you need help felling the tree, contact a tree removal service for assistance.