How to Hollow Out a Stump With a Chainsaw

Are you looking for a way to get rid of an old tree stump in your yard? Do you want to turn it into something useful, like a planter or piece of furniture? It may seem daunting, but with the right tools and some hard work, hollowing out a stump with a chainsaw can be done. In this blog post, we’ll break down the process step by step so that you can transform your unwanted tree stumps into functional masterpieces. So grab your safety gear and let’s get started on creating something useful out of what was once an eyesore!

How to Hollow Out a Stump With a Chainsaw

Nothing beats the look of a natural tree trunk hollowed out and used as a planter or bird bath. And while this may seem like an intimidating project, it can actually be accomplished quite easily with the use of a chainsaw! By following these simple steps, you’ll learn how to hollow out a stump with a chainsaw in no time at all. So put on your safety gear and get ready to add some rustic charm to your landscape today!

What is a Chainsaw?

Before we dive into the process of hollowing out a stump with a chainsaw, let’s first understand what a chainsaw is and how it works. A chainsaw is a portable power tool that consists of a motorized saw blade attached to a handle, allowing for easy cutting through wood. It’s commonly used for tasks such as pruning trees, cutting firewood, and even carving wood sculptures.

Chainsaws come in different sizes and types, but for this project, you’ll need a powerful chainsaw with a long bar to effectively hollow out a stump. It’s important to properly maintain and sharpen the chainsaw blade before starting this project to ensure safe and efficient cutting.

Why You May Want to Hollow Out a Stump?

There are many reasons that you might want to hollow out a stump. Such as:

1. To Look Stump Nicer

A hollowed-out stump can make a tree look more natural than one that is just left standing after it has been cut down. So, if you want to improve the look of your yard, you might consider hollowing out a stump. You can even use the hollowed-out stump as a unique and rustic planter for your garden.

2. To Create More Space

If you have a large tree stump that is taking up space in your yard or garden, one way to reclaim this space is by hollowing it out. This will allow you to use the expanded space for whatever purpose you want, such as planting flowers or herbs or creating a small sitting area. It’s a great way to make the most out of your outdoor space.

3. To Prevent Weeds

If you have left a stump in place after cutting down a tree, it can act as an ideal habitat for weeds and other unwanted plants to grow. By hollowing the stump out, you can remove this space where weeds can take root and grow. You can then fill the hollowed-out stump with soil and plant flowers or other plants of your choice.

4. To Prevent Insects and Rodents

When a tree has been cut down, it can leave behind cavities that are ideal for insects and rodents to take up residence. By hollowing out the stump, you will prevent this from happening, reducing your risk of pests in your yard or garden.

5. To Prevent Disease

If a tree has been infected with disease, the wood of the stump can harbor this fungus and continue to spread it. By hollowing out the stump you will help to prevent this, as well as reduce your chances of contracting any diseases that may have previously been in your garden or yard.

Necessary Materials:

Before starting to hollow out a stump with a chainsaw, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. Here is a list of items you’ll need for this project:

Chainsaw With a Long Bar and Sharp Blade:

As mentioned earlier, you’ll need a powerful chainsaw with a long bar and sharp blade to hollow out the stump effectively. This will make the process easier and quicker.

Safety Gear:

It’s essential to wear appropriate safety gear while using a chainsaw. This includes protective eyewear, earplugs, gloves, and steel-toed boots.

Measuring Tape:

A measuring tape will come in handy when determining the depth and width of the hollowed-out area.

Drill or Chisel:

You’ll need a drill or chisel to make starter holes for the chainsaw blade. This will make it easier to cut through thick and hard tree stumps.

It Can Leave Behind Cavities

Garden Shovel:

Once you have successfully hollowed out the stump, you’ll need a garden shovel to remove any remaining wood chips and debris. This will help to create a smooth and even surface inside the hollowed-out area.

How to Hollow Out a Stump With a Chainsaw in 9 Easy Steps

Step 1: Cut Off the Top of the Stump

The very first step to hollowing out a stump is to cut off the top of it. Begin using your chainsaw to make an angled cut at about two-thirds of the way up your stump, angling downward and going as deep as you can without hitting any major roots. This will create a flat surface for you to work on. It’s important to note that this step can be dangerous, so make sure you take all necessary safety precautions before starting. You may also want to have someone assist you with this step.

Step 2: Hollow Out the Center

Next, use your chainsaw again to make another angled cut – this time angling upward and cutting halfway into the stump’s center. Be sure that you angle the cut so that it will be wide enough for you to fit a chisel underneath it and pry out the inside of your stump with ease. Continue making these angled cuts until you have removed the entire center of your stump. It’s recommended to start with a smaller hole and gradually make it bigger, as it will be easier to control and prevent any accidents.

Step 3: Pry Out the Center of the Stump

Using your chisel and a rubber mallet, begin prying out the center of your stump. This will remove most – if not all – of the wood inside so that you are left with a hollowed-out hole in the middle. This can be tricky to do, as you need to ensure that you don’t damage any roots or tear the outer layer of your stump – so it’s best to do this in stages. Once you’ve removed the majority of wood from the center, use your shovel to scoop out any remaining debris.

Using Your Chisel and a Rubber Mallet

Step 4: Smooth It Up

Once you have hollowed out your stump, use a round file and sandpaper to smooth up the interior. You’ll need to work carefully here, as you don’t want to accidentally damage any roots or make your stump uneven. Sandpaper or a file will also help to remove any splinters and rough edges inside the stump. You can also use a pressure washer to spray out any remaining debris and make the interior of your stump clean and smooth.

Step 5: Finish It Off

After you have finished smoothing up the interior, use fine-grit sandpaper to give it a nice finish. You can also apply preservatives and/or varnish for extra protection and add some color by painting it if you wish. This will give your hollowed-out stump a more polished and finished look. You can also add a layer of mulch around the edges of your stump to blend it in with the rest of your yard or garden. It’s important to note that if you plan on using your hollowed-out stump as a planter, make sure to drill some drainage holes in the bottom.

A Small Metal Mesh Screen Over the Opening

Step 6: Double-Check

Once you are finished, be sure to double-check the interior of your stump for any remaining roots or debris. You can use a broom if needed to make sure that everything is removed so that it doesn’t rot and ruin all of your hard work. This step is crucial, as any remaining debris or roots can cause issues in the future.

Step 7: Dispose of the Debris

Properly disposing of the debris from your hollowed-out stump is important for the health and appearance of your yard or garden. If you have a fireplace, you can use the wood chips as firewood. Otherwise, you can use them as mulch or compost for your garden. The remaining wood and debris can be cut up into smaller pieces with your chainsaw and used as firewood or disposed of in a yard waste bin. You can also check with your local waste management company to determine the proper way to dispose of tree debris in your area.

Step 8: Fill In the Hole

If you are using your hollowed-out stump as a planter, skip this step. Otherwise, use the dirt you removed earlier to fill in the hole where the center of your stump used to be. Be sure to pack it down firmly and add more if needed until it is level with the ground. It’s also a good idea to add some grass seed or sod on top to blend it in with the rest of your yard. You can also use a small layer of mulch to cover it and give it a more natural look.

Step 9: Maintain Your Hollowed-Out Stump

To keep your hollowed-out stump looking its best, be sure to regularly check for any signs of rot or decay. If you do notice any issues, use a wood filler to patch up the affected areas and touch up the finish. It’s also a good idea to regularly clean and treat the interior with preservatives to prevent any potential issues. With proper maintenance, your hollowed-out stump can serve as a unique and beautiful addition to your yard for many years to come.

Following these 9 easy steps, you can successfully hollow out a stump with a chainsaw and create a unique and functional element in your yard. Remember to always prioritize safety and take necessary precautions when handling power tools. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process! 

Require Extra Equipment Such as Wedges

Some Additional Tips to Hollow Out a Stump With a Chainsaw

1. Never Cut Through the Back of the Stump

Cutting through the back of a stump can be dangerous as it may cause the chainsaw to spin out of control and potentially injure you. To avoid this, make sure that you don’t cut all the way through the back of the stump.

2. Leave About 2-4 Inches Before Cutting Again

Once you’ve cut around the stump, leave about two to four inches at the beginning so that your next pass cuts off the remaining stump. Be very careful and take your time to avoid injuring yourself.

3. Use a Rake or Shovel to Remove the Debris

Once you’ve hollowed out the stump, use a rake or shovel to remove any loose debris and sawdust from the ground. This will help keep your workspace clean as well as prevent injuries caused by stepping on sharp pieces of wood.

4. Use a Metal Mesh Screen to Prevent Insects and Other Pests

To prevent insects and other pests from taking up residence in your new stump, place a small metal mesh screen over the opening. This will keep any unwanted wildlife from making their home inside.

5. Wear Proper Safety Equipment

Before cutting out a stump, make sure that you’re wearing proper safety equipment, including gloves and eye protection. This will help minimize the risk of injury during this project. Hollowing out a stump with a chainsaw can be tricky and dangerous if done incorrectly, but following these tips will help ensure that your project is a success.

With these tips, you should now have all of the tools you need to hollow out a stump with a chainsaw safely and efficiently. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Good luck!


How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Chainsaw?

Chainsaws are available at prices that range from $50 – $500, and you may find them on sale for even less. When you are shopping for a chainsaw, you’ll need to consider several factors: the size of the saw, whether it’s electric or gas-powered and whether it includes additional features such as safety and anti-vibration devices. The best way to get a good chainsaw for the price you pay is to shop around, compare prices at different stores, and search online for deals and discounts that allow you to save money.

Can I Use a Chainsaw to Cut Down a Tree?

When you’re trying to decide whether or not to chainsaw down a tree, it’s important to consider the size of the tree and whether or not you feel comfortable using a chainsaw.

While it is certainly possible to cut down a tree with a chainsaw, it can be dangerous and may require extra equipment such as wedges, rope, and other tools. In some cases, it might make sense to hire a professional contractor who has the right equipment to cut down a tree safely, rather than attempting to do it yourself.

How Can I Keep My Chainsaw in Great Shape?

The key to keeping a chainsaw in good working condition is regularly performing maintenance tasks on it. For example, make sure that you clean the chainsaw regularly to remove any build-up of sawdust and debris, sharpen the chain when necessary, and use proper lubrication techniques. Additionally, always store your chainsaw in a dry and safe place to protect it from damage. With proper care, your chainsaw can last for many years and continue to function properly.  So, be sure to follow these maintenance tips to keep your chainsaw in great shape for your next project!


Now that you know how to hollow out a stump with a chainsaw, you’re ready to tackle this home improvement project on your own. Be sure to take the necessary safety precautions and follow the steps outlined in this blog post for best results. With a little elbow grease (and some patience), you can successfully remove that unsightly tree stump from your yard and create more space for landscaping or other outdoor activities.

If you have a stump in your yard that you want to remove, hollowing it out with a chainsaw is one way to do it. This method is relatively quick and easy, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. Follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll have that stump removed in no time.

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