You can hollow out a tree stump using either a chainsaw, fire or hand instruments. All of these methods are easy to follow, but some might be more time-consuming than others.

How To Hollow Out a Tree Trunk

Our article will explore them all so you can choose which one you want to use for yourself! Carry on reading to find a thorough step-by-step guide on carrying out this home DIY project.

How To Hollow Out a Tree Stump

There are a lot of ways to hollow out a tree stump as your lawn DIY project. However, our goal is to tell you the quickest and the easiest ones so that you can save some time and be done with the whole task easily.

Read below to find out our top methods.

– With a Chainsaw

Using a chainsaw is one of the easiest methods used to carve a tree stump. You need to be aware of how to wield and use a chainsaw properly, though.

– Ensure That the Tree Stump Is Dry

Make sure the tree stump you are going to be hollowing out has dried thoroughly, at least from the middle. Hence the ideal time to make a hole in a tree stump is several days after a rain spell or watering.

– Start Carving the Stump

Next, start carving the middle portion of the stump using the chainsaw. You can use a chisel to carve out the portions of the wood near the edges. This is because a chisel provides you with better control so you don’t end up damaging the outer boundary of the stump.

– Take Out the Carved Pieces

Now, what you need to do is to remove the carved out pieces out of the tree stump. 

– Smooth the Edges

As the last step, take the chisel to smooth out the edges of the tree stump. 

– Safety Precaution

  • Always wear safety goggles when doing woodwork. You don’t want stray splinters getting in your eyes!
  • We also suggest you learn how to use the instruments that you will be using like the chainsaw and the chisel etc. These instruments, in the hands of an inexperienced beginner, have the potential to cause significant damage.

– Stump With Fire

One quick way to hollow out a stump is by using fire. Learn how to do this by reading below.

Stump With Fire

– Bore Holes in the Stump

You need to start by boring holes into the tree stump that you want to work on. Use a power drill with a 0.9 inch bit, holding it at an angle of 30 degrees, to dig deep enough into the roots. 

As a general rule of thumb, your drill hole should be at least eight to 10 inches deep and the distance between individual holes should be at about one to two inches minimum. You can use the ash from the fire as nutrients for your plants.

– Fill the Holes With Flammable Material

Your next step is to fill these holes with a material that would burn instantly. We usually use potassium nitrate. Furthermore, you simply have to stuff it into the hole and then pour hot water from the top so that it dissolves properly.

Some other flammable materials you can use in addition to potassium nitrate are kerosene oil and charcoal.

– Light the Wood on Fire

Now, put some wood scraps or pieces of cardboard on top of the stump and light a fire using matchsticks or lighters. Don’t use gas to produce fire as it has the potential to get out of control pretty fast. 

– Clear Out the Stump

Pour water or sand after the fire dies out to prevent any accidental reignition. Then scoop out the burnt charred wood using a small shovel or any other tool. You now have a hollowed out tree stump ready for renewal.

– Safety Precautions

Remove all flammable things from the vicinity of the stump in question. Since you are going to be using fire, accidental ignition of the surroundings is always a risk. Thus, you should remove all trash, fallen leaves and wood chips from around the stump.

Also, wear protective gloves when handling potassium nitrate. If you are using your bare hands, then make sure to wash them thoroughly after using potassium nitrate as it is a highly flammable material and might cause your hands to catch fire.

What’s more, don’t stand too close to the fire as particulate matter can get in your eyes or lungs and cause injury. Lastly, always keep a bucket of water, a water hose or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any unforeseen event.

– Using Your Hands

One other way you can hollow out a tree trunk is by doing it with hand instruments. Beware though, this can be a bit time-consuming.

hollowing out a tree trunk With Hand

Learn how to manually remove the insides of a tree stump below.

– Soften the Wood

When manually scooping out a wood stump, your job will be made so much easier if the wood in question is soft. Undertake this task either after several days of rainfall or soak the stump in water for a couple of days beforehand.

– Drill Holes in the Stump

Using an electric drill, drill several holes many inches deep in the center of the stump. 

– Carve the Wood Out by Hand

Now take a chisel and a hammer to remove the pieces of wood left in between, using these drilled holes as the fulcrum point. The chisel works best when it is kept at an angle of 45 degrees to the flat surface of the stump.

– Smooth the Edges of the Stump

Taking the very same chisel, smooth out the edges so that they don’t harm anyone inadvertently.


Hollowing out tree stumps is no simple task. It requires planning, time and energy. However, using the right instruments can make your task so much easier. We have listed for you some essential instruments that you must have at your disposal in this case.

Read on to find out what they are.

– Power Drill

A power drill is one of the most useful instruments you can have at your disposal. It can be used to drill holes of any diameter or depth into woods of all types.

You simply need an electric power supply for this machine to work. Or you can simply drag a power extension cable in your yard to make this thing work.

– Chainsaw

A chainsaw will make your work ten times easier. It is one of the best tools for hollowing out a tree stump out there that cuts wood in a matter of seconds. There are so many different types of chainsaws in the market for you to choose from.

Our advice is to buy a chainsaw that feels good in your hands. A chainsaw that is too bulky or large will only be a hassle to handle. Chainsaw related injuries are also pretty common, especially among beginners so be very careful when handling this instrument.

– Hammer and Chisel

Hammer and chisel is a set of very useful hand instruments when it comes to hollowing out tree stumps. They always come as a set.

Hollowed out tree trunk with flowers 1

You set the chisel at an angle of 45 degrees with its tip at one edge of the wood splinter that you want to dislodge, and use the hammer to wedge this piece off.

Take care to protect your hands and eyes when using the chisel and hammer. Wear thick gloves and eye goggles because lots of splinters sure will fly in all directions.

– Wood Carving Gouge

A wood carving gouge is a type of chisel with a rounded tip instead of a pointed one. It is used for carving out pieces of wood in a rounded scoop.

Trust us when we say that this instrument will be a game-changer for your stump hollowing operation.

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