We cut a 10" round locust tree down this past weekend.
The bottom 6'-0" was...well rotten in the center leaving an awesome section that we cut into 12" lengths to make into planters.
What is the best way to preserve these logs so that they don't split or rot any more so that we can use them as planters?
There is a minimum 1" of "good wood".
Should I dip the entire piece or pieces in poly??
In order for any preservative or clear finish to seal and protect, those sections are going to have to dry out completely (and I'd get rid of any pithy wood sections). Any moisture in the wood will cause peeling and lifting of the finish.
Waiting and giving plenty of time to dry out is my advice.
Can you put a flower pot, coffee can, etc. inside the hollow area?
Keep in mind - they will eventually rot.
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I was going to suggest the same thing as Sherry. Just put a pot inside and that will help reduce the amount of moisture the wood is subjected to from the inside. As for the outside, it will have to cure before you can do anything to it.
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