How To Hollow Out A Tree Stump

Before ripping those tree stumps out of your yard, give yourself a moment to think about an alternate way to repurpose them. With a drill, a little imagination, and a thumb full of creativity, you can discover myriad ideas for bringing tree stumps to life. From simple birdbaths and planters right through to eye-catching outdoor furnishings and magical fairy garden touches, the possibilities are endless.

Hollow Out The Stump Of A Tree

You’ve decided not to throw your stump away, now what? For many of the most popular ideas for repurposing the stump requires it to be hollowed out.

Step 1 – Soften the wood of the stump and wait for a day after a rainstorm when the wood will be softer and more pliable. Absorbing water makes the job easier.

Step 2 – Drill holes across the section of the stump you want to make hollow. Space the holes a few inches apart throughout the entire section.

Step 3 – Hollow out the stump with your hammer and chisel. Chip away the wood beginning at the edge of one of the holes. Keep your chisel at a 45-degree angle. Remove the wood and place it in a compost pile, recycle pile or use it as mulch.

Step 4 – Smooth the hollowed area. Clean up the hollow by chiseling away the jagged sections of wood. Smooth the edges and bottom and bottom of the hollow with coarse-grain sandpaper.

Step 5 – Wipe away any debris or dust from your work.

Making A Tree Stump Planter

Creating planters is a great way to spruce up those unsightly stumps in your landscape. The decaying wood from the stump will help nourish plants with additional nutrients. The more you water, the quicker the stump will deteriorate. There are also several options for planting and designing the stump container.

A hollow tree stump planter is the most common of the tree stump ideas. You simply plant directly into the stump. Hollow the stump out with a sharp instrument like an ax or hoe. Those skilled enough might use a chainsaw. A stump that has been around for a while may already be soft in the center, so the job should be easier.

Leave yourself two to three inches around the perimeter, unless you prefer a small planting hole. Drainage holes will help the stump last longer and prevent any possible issues with root rot later on if plants become overly saturated. Adding a layer of gravel inside the stump hollow before planting can also help with this.

Once you’re happy with your planting hole, add some compost or potting soil and begin filling your stump with plants. You can also place one container into the hollowed-out stump and set your plants in that. You can plant seedlings or nursery plants or even sow your seeds directly into the planter in spring. Plant a variety of flower bulbs and fill around with other plants to add interest.

How Do You Hollow Out A Log To Make A Planter?

Start with a log that is dry in the middle. Find a baseboard that is slightly wider than the log and drill it to the log.

● Use a chain saw to carve out the middle or use a drill to make holes and then carve the edges out with a chisel.

● After chiseling out the top layer of hole saw cuts, make a second pass with the hole saw until the planter opening is three inches deep.

● After the hole saw has done its job, remove the hole saw cuts with a chisel and mallet or hammer. Smoothing out the edges takes up the most time, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. The one most significant challenge is not chipping off the bark.

● Add a layer of activated charcoal evenly across the base of the wood log planter. The charcoal helps with air filtration. A drainage layer helps ensure excess water doesn’t stay in the soil and cause root and log rot.

DIY Ideas For Tree Stump Decorating

Tree stubs can be sculptural in a natural garden. Repurpose them into table bases, stepping stools, seating, or even treehouse foundations.

A few DIY tree stumps ideas include:

● Create a gnome home or fairy village with a taller than average stub.

● Making the perfect pedestal for a birdbath.

● Creating a board game is easy. Just add some painted rocks to be the game pieces for tic-tac-toe or checkers.

Make a chair to relax in with a good book and a good cup of coffee.

If you’re handy with paints or carving tools, an ugly tree stump in your front yard can be used as a welcome sign. A stump in the middle of a play area can also be painted to allow your children to engage in make-believe play.


Landscaping and creative projects often require specific tools to get the job done. For those listed in this article, you would need several power tools, including a chain saw and a drill with an auger bit. This drill bit is the one used to hollow out the remainder of your felled tree. You will also need nails, screws, a hammer or mallet, and a chisel. You may require other materials such as paint, to help decorate your creation.