I recently posted a picture of a log planter that we made from a fallen tree in our side yard. I posted the photo in celebration of Earth Day. Our log planter was also featured on the Rachael Ray TV Show (look for the Log Planter segment), which was a huge honor! I have received so many comments about it that I decided to write this article on how this all came to be.
The first thing that you will want to do is gather your tools and make sure you have everything you need. While Hector did not use a Chain Saw in making the Log Planter, that is certainly an option. There are different ways, and different tools, that one might want to use for this endeavor. The following; however, are some of the tools Hector used – and hopefully this list will assist you should you decide to follow his lead.
- Wood Chisel Set
- Eye Goggles
- Work Gloves
- Hammer Drill
- Flat Boring Set
- Regular Hammer
- Curved Blade Saw
The first thing you will want to do is determine how big of an opening you want in your log. We had a big piece of wood, so we chose an opening area of approximately 44″. Since logs come in all sizes, the size determination must be made by you for your particular needs. Grab your Curved Blade Saw and begin to saw in sections, about 3 – 4 inches deep.
Hector found it is easier to work in small sections. Once he had sawed through a top section, he then sawed it lengthwise – much like carving a watermelon against its’ rind. Obviously, this task is a bit harder! This process took some time to accomplish, so be patient. You could save some time by using a Chain Saw; however, you would need to be very careful. Make sure you have proper eye goggles and other safety equipment on. Hector did not want to use the Chain Saw because he felt he would not have as much control over cutting the wood. One slip and it would have messed up the log. When he was done, he had a nice piece of lumber that had a flat even service, ready to be dug out.
He then took a Hammer Drill (with a Flat Boring bit attached) and started to drill into the outside perimeter of the log opening. He did the same process to the center chunk of wood, drilling and boring sections side-by-side. When he was finished, there were raised remnants of wood left in the center. He took those off by using a hammer and chisel, chiseling out the remaining wood.
Left with a smooth and even surface, you will need to plan for proper drainage. How many holes you make, and how much drainage is needed, is determined by the type of planting material you use. We were planting geraniums, so we needed to make plenty of weeping holes all across the surface. He made these by drilling into the wood with various-sized boring bits.
At this point, all of hard work is done. Move your log to it’s final resting spot, making sure to locate it in an area that will accommodate the light requirements of your respective plants. We chose a sunny location for the geraniums, and in a prominent position for all to enjoy.
We also elevated the log off the ground with some strong pavers. The support pavers were hidden from view by putting a thick layer of mulch in front of them, and also by planting yellow flowers in front of the log.
You are now done and ready for your plants!
If you enjoyed this post, please let me hear from you. If you have made a planter out of a fallen tree, then I urge you to send photos and a story of how you did it. It’s nice to be part of a community and learn from one another. Happy Gardening ♥