6 DIY Garden Projects Using Dead Wood

A wattle weaves thin branches together to create a charming fence. Batechenkofff/Shutterstock

My grandmother used to collect the fallen branches and dead limbs of trees from her yard every other day or so. She put them in a collection bin. If we helped, we sometimes earned a little bit of pocket change.

As a result, her lawn was pristine, but it meant that all that dead wood was never used for anything else around her small garden — which is shame, because nature's castoffs can be used to decorate a garden and add a rustic vibe. Below, you'll find several DIY projects that utilize dead wood.

1. Wattle

Get in touch with your 12th-century farmer by building a wattle (pictured above). These lightweight fences are made of woven branches, so they're a no-brainer way to use fallen limbs.

2. Fallen trunk succulent planter

Depending on the circumstances, there's no reason to cart off the trunk of a fallen tree when you can repurpose it as a planter, and this is especially true if nature has done much of the hollowing out for you. The video above demonstrates how to turn either a fall trunk or a hollowed-out tree stump into a planter for succulents. This is a good way to incorporate a truly natural look into your garden.

3. Twigwood trellis

Your garden affords you the opportunity to stand among nature, but a trellis made of fallen wood gives you the chance to stand within nature. You'll need specific lengths of wood to make this whimsical willow arbor, but the gathering of materials and the exacting construction process will ultimately be worth it.

4. Dead wood bonsai planter

In the video above, a sawed-off portion of a sturdy-looking tree trunk becomes the base of lovely bonsai forest. Wire inserts keep the croton plants in place, while soil keeps them healthy and happy.

5. Found log lounger

What better way to take in your garden than in a lounger made of sturdy dead wood? This bit of DIY furniture requires some heavy lifting and power tools, but the result is a unique and rustic addition to your garden.

6. Upcycled bird bath

Bird baths are tricky sometimes. Sure, you want to attract birds to your garden, but do you really want to buy a heavy stone one or a cheap-looking plastic affair? Why not take a cue from The Art of Doing Stuff and make your own bird bath with a durable wooden bowl and sturdy fallen limbs? It'll be a natural-looking bird bath that both you and your avian visitors will enjoy.