Wood Recovery


The Guild is proud of the work done to build and sustain this most creative program. Unique in Western Canada, the goal of the project is to intervene in the disposal of diseased or downed trees. Working closely with municipal employees and private donors, the Guild is able to “save” these trees from becoming firewood.

Vancouver Island is blessed with a wealth of tree species. Over the past few years we have salvaged over 30,000 board feet of arbutus, garry oak, Pacific yew, black locust, white oak, London plane, English oak, cherry, horse chestnut, plum and walnut as well as other species.

The logs are donated to the Guild by municipalities, arborists and private owners. We do not fell trees ourselves for safety and liability reasons but arrange to pick up and transport logs to a mill once they are on the ground in a location that is accessible.

The costs related to the project are for transport to a sawmill and to cover the cost of milling. At times, companies provide transport of logs to the mill free of charge and their generosity is sincerely appreciated, as is the generosity of people who donate the logs. 

Guild members volunteer their time and vehicles to transport the lumber from the mill to our storage site. Wood Sale days are organized where the green lumber is sold to Guild members. After our costs are recovered, we use the profits to purchase kiln dried wood for Victoria area schools that offer woodworking programs, provide bursaries to students of the Camosun College Fine Furniture Program and give cash awards at local furniture building exhibitions. The Camosun College Fine Furniture Program is using our milled lumber to provide students an opportunity to build their projects with “green” wood. To read an article about the Wood Recovery Program that was published in the Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement magazine, click here.

How the Program Operates:

  • The Guild takes possession of the salvageable tree parts, and removes them to a safe place.
  • We seal the end grain and otherwise protect the logs from degradation before milling.
  • When enough logs have accumulated to make milling worthwhile, we engage a sawmill operator to custom mill planks and boards.
  • Guild members may buy the wood green and take it away at that point – price to cover the costs of transporting and milling the wood plus extra for our Wood for Schools Program.

Our Criteria for Trees:

Normally we prefer straight hardwood logs about 36 inches or more in diameter, although we can also use smaller diameters and other species such as yellow cedar or rare species. If you have a tree that needs to be felled and would like the wood to be put to a good use or you would like more information about the Wood Recovery Program, please contact the Guild.


If you would like to help the Guild provide more wood to Victoria and area high schools and middle schools please contact woodrecovery@viwg.com for more information. Please note that receipts are not available from VIWG for donations.

Thanks for helping.