Rescued wood from urban trees in Washington and Dodge counties is supporting Habitat for Humanity by way of trim and cabinetry in project homes and through proceeds from the sale of lumber at the charity’s area ReStores.

“The use of rescued wood reduces the dependence on fossil fuel for transportation of lumber, decreases the number of infected trees dumped into landfills, and provides the local community with a sustainable and affordable source of lumber,” according to Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin.

Rescued wood is wood reclaimed from damaged or diseased trees that have to be removed from neighborhood and public properties. In places like West Bend, trees damaged by emerald ash borers have been recycled into useable lumber. Habitat of Wisconsin was given the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council’s Project Partnership award for its efforts to recycle all part of the trees.

In 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also awarded a grant to Habitat to operate a sawmill in Kewaskum, where approximately 13,000 board feet of milled lumber has been processed with volunteer labor.

First cuts from the logs become firewood, second cuts are sold as non-milled lumber, and third cuts are milled into boards. All are kiln dried, as required by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for transport out of EAB quarantine counties. Habitat said most of the trees processed have been white ash, but boards are also coming from red oak, maple and locust.

Rescued wood is for sale at ReStores in Dodge, Washington, Sheboygan and Fond du Lac counties.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit volunteer organization that helps provide safe, affordable an decent housing to people worldwide. For more information about Wisconsin projects, go to ​www.habitatwisconsin.org.