Asked on Jun 17, 2017

What is the easiest/fastest method to hollow out a log for a planter?

by 4554290
This is the tree before it was cut down on the left. My husband refers to it as the "widow maker"- it's huge. I would like to make some vertical planters so that I can plant herbs at the lake. I am a little frightened of the burning method. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
  16 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 17, 2017

  • David Holliday David Holliday on Jun 17, 2017

    What you need is an ADZE. It's sort of like a hoe with a sharp curved blade.

    It can be a short, one-handed tool, or a two arm boat carver.

    Go here:

  • John John on Jun 17, 2017

    use a chain saw to cut out sections at a time...or drill large holes and break it out with a hammer and's a shame you cut it down--such a beautiful tree

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Jun 18, 2017

    Is the tree dead ? If it isn't why kill it?

  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Jun 18, 2017

    That is a gorgeous view! Good luck!

  • Rosemarie Study Rosemarie Study on Jun 18, 2017

    The burn method that the Cherokee Indians used was hot coals - suggest you place charcoal bricketts that are smoldering on top -- keep replacing them until you achieve the depth you desire. It is the simplest method.

  • Al and Linda S Al and Linda S on Jun 18, 2017

    Hire s lumberjack

  • Brian Brian on Jun 18, 2017

    Hammer and chisel don't forget to line the inside with tar it will keep out ants and bugs that like to chew on wood

  • 4554290 4554290 on Jun 18, 2017

    Yes, sadly that tree is dead. We needed to cut it down so that its limbs wouldn't fall on the cottage. Our winters can be very harsh and we get lots of wind. Thank you all for the excellent advice. We'll be tackling that project soon.

  • 4554290 4554290 on Jun 18, 2017

    Thank you, Cori! I saw two herons - one with a fish in his beak this morning and loons in the bay this afternoon. Bliss. Sorry no pics, too busy finishing the cottage walls.

  • 4554290 4554290 on Jun 18, 2017

    Hi Brian,

    I would like to plant chives and other herbs in the logs. How eco-friendly is tar?


  • Margaret Margaret on Jun 18, 2017

    An idea I had for wood from my trees was to let it dry and have pen and pencil sets with desk name plates made for my daughter and grandchildren. I had pecan, apple and cherry wood. The pecan wood came from a tree my father planted before I was born, the apple and cherry from trees I planted at my home. You can also find a carver to make jewelry broaches, salad bowls and utensils, fruit bowls, jewelry boxes or overnight holders, a catch all landing place for keys, electronics, change, jewelry, watches on a dresser or have a carving made with the address of your cottage. If you have guest, you could give them a souvenir of their visit made from the wood... you don't have to use most of it for fire wood. For your planters, maybe you could wax the inside to waterproof and put your plants in pots that fit inside. Maybe your house name or number could be in the shape of a loon or 'family tree'. You have a lot of wood to have fun with.

  • Bernadette Staal Bernadette Staal on Jun 18, 2017

    I don't know what a Widow Maker is ..... guess that means it might fall on someone. I would get a professional to cut it down, then get then to hollow out the centre using their chain saw.

  • Helen Helen on Jun 18, 2017

    You could always use a variety of wood chisels.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jun 19, 2017

    Have you figured out what killed it and have you taken that into account? You don't want that killing your plants.

  • Judy Judy on Jun 20, 2017

    I would use a hammer and a chissle and this will do the job. Mark what height you want this, then have you hubby cut it for you. You may make several with diff. depths and then you can tint them diff. colors. Have fun, and enjoy, make it as joyful (maybe with butterflies if you enjoy them, or hummingbirds, or just make your favorite) to show nature's beautiful work. Enjoy, and bless you. J.