The man is resting on the stump enjoying himself, wondering how he can give something back to the tree. Because he is so old and tired, he decides to lean back and take a nap. While sleeping, he dies peacefully. It lightly snows and eventually covers him up. Throughout the seasons that follow, his body decomposes into the ground around the stump, becoming rich nutrients for the soil.
With this added nourishment, after many years, a leaf begins to sprout from the stump. It is the beginning of a new life for the tree stump. As the years pass, apples begin to appear on the tree. The man gives the stump his life as it gave him throughout his life.
A possible sculpture could be a tree stump with one limb that has an apple hanging from it.