Preserving An Old Tree Stumps

Wife has had a large plant pot sitting on an old tree stump and of course the stump has almost reached the point where it will have to be dug up. I actually like the look of this old stump and I'm wondering if anyone can give me some hints on how I might be able to make it structurally sound so it will last a few more year without it costing me an arm and a leg. I have heard of resin products used by restores to make old rooten wood hard and stable but I imagine I would cost me a bundle to use a specialty product like that. The stump is about 12 inches in diameter and stand no more than a foot above ground level.
I'm probably wasting my time on a silly project but if anyone has any ideas I would appreciate their input.
Jimbo
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If you can find it in your area, the West Systems Epoxy Product would petrify the product above the ground. It won't stop the rot from below the ground. Should cost about $50 for the small size. How long it would last in this application I wouldn't want to guess.
What we did years ago in a similar situation was to build a wooden, bottomless flower box around a stump and fill it with dirt. We used scrap untreated 2X material. By the time the box rotted the stump had also.
Colbyt
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wrote:

What you're referring to, I think, is CPES (Clear Pentrating Epoxy Sealer). It's common in the marine and log home industry to stabilize rotting/damaged wood.
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/decoder_CPES.htm
CPES is a tradename but there are lots of similar formulas sold under a variety of different trade names. Basically it's an epoxy resin suspended in a solvent that penetrates dried out wood. It's not super expensive but some of the base solvents are a HazMat nightmare. I've also heard of people making their wood stabilizers by mixing Plastic Wood and acetone.
Google on "Clear Pentrating Epoxy Sealer".
Steve Manes Brooklyn, NY http://www.magpie.com/house
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Marine Stores probably carry what you need, but I would guess the price would be quite high.
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Jimbo wrote:

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Colbyt has it right. It isn't the top that will fail, it is the below ground part. You didn't say how old it is but if the top is looking shaky, the roots are probably just about gone.
Harry K
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Thanks for all the input
Jimbo

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wrote:

Drill the stump with about three small vertical 1/4 inch holes with a long drill bit and then insert some 24inch long 1/4in reinforcing rods thru the holes to where the rods stick up 1/8inch. Then cover the top with 1/8 inch deep clear epoxy, just covering the rods. Should last for a few more years.
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[reformatted for readability]
Build a cardboard/pressboard box around the stump. FIll the box with expanding foam. Come back the next day, and pull the box and foam off. (You'll probably have to cut the foam into quarters.) Flip your new mold over, put it back in the box, and fill it with cement. End of the week, get four or five guys to (A) help dig out the old stump, and (B) roll your concrete replica over to replace it.
Paint the replica to suit.
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