Before you rip those tree stumps out of your yard, you may want to take a moment to consider another option to repurpose them. You can discover many ideas for bringing tree stumps to life with a drill, a little inspiration, and a thumb full of ingenuity. For example, simple birdbaths, planters, fountains, or eye-catching garden sceneries will make your outdoor living space more lively and appealing.

What tools do I need to hollow out a tree stump?

What tools do I need to hollow out a tree stump? The answer is that it depends on the size of the tree stump you’re trying to remove and if you have access to any of these tools. To give you a general idea, here are some tools that can help in the process:

  • Chainsaw – fastest
  • Handheld drill
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Fire

We’ll go over each method so you can determine which one you want to do.

How to hollow out a tree stump manually with a hammer and chisel

What now that you’ve decided not to throw away your stump? Many of the most common repurposing options call for the stump to be hollowed out.

  • Step 1: Soften the stump’s wood by waiting a day after a rainstorm, when the timber will be softer and more malleable. Again, the capacity to absorb water makes the job easier.
  • Step 2: Drill holes across the stump area that will be hollowed out. Throughout the segment, space the holes a few inches apart.
  • Step 3: Using your hammer and chisel, hollow out the stump. Then, start chipping away at the wood near the edge of one of the holes. Maintain a 45-degree angle with your chisel. Remove the wood and dispose of it in a compost pile, a recycling bin, or mulch.
  • Step 4: Smooth out the hollowed-out area. Chisel away the rough bits of wood to clean out the hollow. Using coarse-grain sandpaper, smooth the hollow’s edges, bottom, and bottom.
  • Step 5: Clean up any debris or dust on your work.

How to hollow out a tree stump with fire

  • Remove the stump’s flammable things, such as dried leaves, sticks, or other wooden structures. This reduces the possibility of a large fire exploding as you work on the stump. In an emergency, keeping a pail of water nearby is also a good idea. Finally, you can encircle the stump with chicken wire for added security.
  • Use a 2.5 cm spade bit in your power drill to bore a 30-degree angle hole in the middle of the stump. Make a hole about 20cm to 25cm deep or deep enough to reach the roots. After drilling, clean up any debris in the hole.
  • Drill similar holes throughout the top of the stump, allowing at least 2-5 cm between each one. If the stump is above ground, drill holes around the perimeter to allow it to burn more easily.
  • Fill each hole with potassium nitrate and thoroughly wash your hands after handling this chemical. You can also make your stump more combustible by using charcoal or kerosene. Finally, pour boiling water into each hole to dissolve potassium nitrate if used.
  • Make a pyramid or teepee out of leftover wood and fire it with kindling. Never fire the scrap wood with gas. Instead, allow it to catch fire.
  • After the stump has been burned, begin breaking up any large pieces of stump or root that remain in the holes. Keep all charred pieces in a fire-safe container to avoid an unintentional fire.
  • Fill up the burned-out hole with fresh and new soil and plant a new tree stump planter.

How to hollow out a stump with a chainsaw

  • Check if your log is dry in the center, and check for a baseboard that can be drilled into the wood.
  • Carve out the stump’s center with the chainsaw to create holes, then carve off the edges with a chisel. After you’ve carved away the top layer of holes, make a second pass with the saw until the stump is open and about 3 inches deep.
  • Using a hammer and chisel, remove the wood pieces. To make your planter look great, smooth off the edges.
  • To improve air filtration, apply a layer of activated charcoal to the stump’s base. You can also add a drainage layer to prevent water pooling inside the planter and to rot the roots and log.

What to do with a hollow tree stump: Make a tree stump planter

Making planters is an excellent way to eliminate those ugly stumps in your yard. The rotting wood from the stump will provide additional nutrients to the plants. The more you water the stump, the faster it will decay. There are also a variety of planting and aesthetic possibilities for the stump container.

The most typical tree stump idea is a hollow tree stump planter. First, you plant the seed directly into the stump. Then, a sharp tool, such as an ax or a hoe, hollow out the stump. Those that are skilled enough may be able to use a chainsaw. A stump that has been around for a time may be soft in the center, making the process easier.

Leave two to three inches around the outside unless you want a narrow planting hole. Drainage holes will help the stump endure longer and avoid root rot later on if the plants become overly soaked. Putting a layer of gravel inside the stump hollow before planting can also help.

When you’re satisfied with your planting hole, fill it with compost or potting soil and start filling your stump with plants. You can also insert one container inside the hollowed-out stump and arrange your plants. Then, in the spring, you can plant seedlings or nursery plants or put seeds straight into the planter.

How do you hollow out a tree stump to plant flowers?

  • Start with a dry log in the center. Next, get a slightly broader baseboard than the log and drill it to it.
  • Carve out the middle with a chainsaw or a drill, then carve out the edges with a chisel. After chiseling off the top layer of hole saw cuts, make a second pass with the hole saw until the planter aperture is three inches deep.
  • After the hole saw has finished its work, use a chisel and mallet or hammer to remove the hole saw cuts. Most work is spent smoothing out the edges, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. The most difficult challenge is not chipping away at the bark. 
  • Apply a uniform layer of activated charcoal to the base of the wood log planter. The charcoal helps in the filtering of air. In addition, a drainage layer prevents excess water from staying in the soil and causing root and log rot.

What kinds of plants may grow in tree stumps?

Petunias, nasturtiums, pansies, or whatever your heart desires. You can stand pots on a tree stump if you don’t want to drill a hole. Ferns, wildflowers, cornflowers, marigolds, and phlox are just a few alternatives.


What equipment do I need to hollow out a tree stump?

You’d need a chainsaw and a drill with an auger bit, among other things. This drill bit will be used to hollow out the rest of your downed tree. Nails, screws, a hammer or mallet, and a chisel are also required.

What would it take to hollow out a tree?

Hollows can form due to physiological stress caused by natural processes excavating and exposing the heartwood. Wind, rain, fire, lightning, heat, insects (ants or beetles), bacteria, or fungi attack.


To summarize, rather than suffering by removing the stump’s remaining components, you can create something fresh and attractive for your backyard with even less effort in some circumstances.

Use your imagination and creativity; there are numerous ways to use a tree stump, and this article will teach you how to hollow it out. Now put that into effect, and remember always to take safety precautions regardless of the method you use to hollow out a tree stump.