UW Campus Salvage Wood Program

UW Campus Salvage Wood Program

Amount Awarded:
Funding Received:
Project Status:
In progress, accepting volunteers

Executive Summary

UW Grounds Management and UW Facilities Construction (Facility Services) seeks $43,603.00 to obtain the necessary infrastructure to augment the salvage wood program which creates products from trees that are removed from the campus-wide landscape. By keeping the tree material on campus, money is saved in disposal cost, less energy is used in waste transportation, some of the asset value of the tree is retained by being incorporated into campus projects and the investment made into that tree over time is preserved, especially if the final product becomes a permanent feature on campus.

The University of Washington Seattle campus grounds management staff manages about 10,000 trees. At some point in time these trees will be removed as a result of natural decline or death, due to disease issues, as a preventative measure to avoid potential hazards, or as part of a construction/capital project. Grounds Management is charged with the task of protecting campus assets in the landscape. Campus trees are a significant asset in both actual value and investment over time. In 2008 the total annual benefits provided by tree on campus was valued at $736,385.00 and the total annual cost of those trees were $265,100.00. (Vale, Kava. 2011. University of Washington Seattle Campus Forest Resources Analysis. Master’s Project, University of Washington Botanic Gardens. Seattle Washington.) The net benefit in dollar value is then approximately half a million dollars, in which a portion is lost when a tree in cut up and removed from campus. Facilities Maintenance & Construction seeks to obtain and build infrastructure that increases the capacity and safety for staff to process tree material in ways that protect University assets and investments related to our campus trees. The salvage wood program is a collaborative partnership between Facility Services Grounds Management and Facilities Construction. The processed wood material will be used for student, faculty and administration projects, with opportunities available for the College of built Environments programs and the needs related to CPO& Facilities Construction projects.

As trees are removed from the campus landscape and are incorporated into campus-wide projects, the story of that tree (its narrative) will hopefully become part of the project narrative. Through education and outreach efforts, the perception of trees on campus and urban trees in general will change to reflect the understanding that they have value beyond their time in the ground. Outreach and education through partners in the College of Built Environments, School of Art, Art History, and Design, and the UW Botanical Garden and Arboretum will also create opportunities for telling the story of a tree beyond the day to day campus audience. From conference tables to outdoor structures, wood from campus trees one day could be found all throughout campus each with a story, a story of a tree that grew on campus and still lives there in a tangible way.

Learn more here.

Primary Contact:
Daniel Sorensen