When you think about building a patio, you might consider the usual materials such as concrete or pavers. However, if you can hold out on building your patio until you have a tree removed, you can create a natural patio with the trunk. Having a large tree removed is expensive, and so is building a patio. If you want to save money by reusing a tree trunk, these steps will walk you through what you need to do.

Step 1: Grab Some Tools and Materials

Ask the tree removal professionals to leave the trunk for you do deal with instead of taking it with them or running it through the wood chipper. Once the job is finished, grab these supplies and begin building your patio.

  • tiller (rent one from the home improvement store)
  • tape measure
  • chalk line
  • small wooden stakes
  • shovel
  • rake
  • level
  • weed barrier cloth
  • several bags of river rock
  • goggles
  • gardening gloves
  • chainsaw

Step 2: Prep the Patio Area

Measure the area you want to use for the patio, and mark the corners with the wooden stakes.

Ask a friend to hold one end of the chalk line at one stake, close to the ground, while you pull the line to another. Then snap the line to leave a straight line on the ground. Do this for all four sides of the area.

Till the ground a couple of inches until all the dirt is loosened up. Rake and shovel the excess dirt and grass into your compost pile. If you don't have a compost pile, place the dirt and grass into your yard waste container to be picked up by your local sanitation department.

Set the level on various spots of the tilled area. If the level indicates higher or lower spots, use the shovel and rake to either fill in or remove more dirt until you get a level surface.

Place the weed barrier cloth over the top of the entire surface.  

Step 3: Slice the Trunk and Arrange Your Patio

Put on your goggles and gardening gloves. Use the chainsaw to slice the tree trunk into pieces that are about an inch or two thick.

Carry the tree slices to the patio area and arrange them on the weed barrier cloth. Continue this process until the entire area is covered with tree trunk slices.

Step 4: Insert the Rock

Use your hands to fill the gaps between the tree trunk slices with river rocks. Continue this process until the entire weed barrier cloth is covered.

After several years, the tree slices may decompose. When you notice that they are becoming brittle, contact a tree removal service like Destiny's Tree Service LLC and ask if you can purchase a small portion of a tree trunk that they removed from another property. Cut the slices and replace the ones that need it.