This started out as a project to put something a little more organic on tables than the blocks of foam and plastic we're used to seeing. Tree stumps for what ever reason is what I latched onto.
It was a mix of known and suspect for me. I know we can produce a descent tree stump. I suspect it can be done in such a way to make it reproducible for a low cost.
It was a bit of unknown territory so I opted to proceed as cheaply as possible.