WholeTrees® builds prosperous relationships with forests and communities

WholeTrees® brings the abundant waste stream of healthy forest management to high-value construction markets. We supply to and catalyze the growing restorative building movement. We strive to add value to sustainable forestry to preserve and foster the awe and delight of our woodlands.

Our commitment of innovative and profitable use of forest byproducts is demonstrated by:

  • Excellent track record and trusted brand
  • Proprietary products
  • Scalable production technologies
  • Proprietary engineering processes and researched design values
  • Digital inventory and future customer-facing software platform

Round timbers have many social, environmental, and economic benefits. WholeTrees’ local and regional supply chain continues to grow into a distributed production model that limits transportation costs, reduces embodied energy in construction, and benefits rural economic development where raw materials are sourced and fabricated. Round timber is abundant and rapidly renewable: trees as young as twenty years, which are often unusable in conventional forest products industries, can be used to create small diameter round timber structural products. WholeTrees’ harvest processes encourage sustainable forestry practices such as thinning, which restores our woodlands by reducing invasive species, disease, and risk of wildfire.



Our Founders


Amelia Swan Baxter


Amelia Baxter co-founded Whole Trees with Roald Gundersen in 2007, as a response to the national attention received by Gundersen’s use of un-milled timber as a structural resource. Baxter leads her executive team toward both scale and innovation. Baxter has over a decade’s experience in market development, HR, and operations in numerous agricultural and land management projects. Throughout her career, Baxter has specialized in managing short and mid-term systems to reach long term goals, while attracting talented teams that build organizational capacity and successful momentum. She has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, speaks fluent Spanish, and has worked internationally with thought leaders in the Responsible Business movement. When left to her own fancies, she can be found gardening, biking, and mushroom hunting.


Roald Gundersen, AIA


Roald Gundersen has devoted the better part of the last 20 years exploring and experimenting with natural building and the architecture of small diameter round timber. He co-founded Whole Trees with Amelia Baxter and served as President and Principal Architect. Gundersen has designed and built round timber assemblies for commercial, institutional and residential applications. His travels and past projects have lead him to focus his architecture on the practical and environmental importance of using naturally abundant local materials. Gundersen has taken a hands-on-learning approach to architecture and materials, inspired by the wisdom of the 134 acres of forests he stewards near La Crosse, WI. He raises two children with Amelia Baxter, and when not with them, he can be found roaming the woods for hours.

Our Team


Derek Mayhew

Forestry & Inventory Manager
Derek Mayhew joined Roald Gundersen Design in 2004 and has been with Whole Trees since its inception. He heads up operations and manufacturing for Whole Trees, as well as working closely with Gundersen in the management of the Driftless Farm forest land. He believes that this job is on the cutting edge of real meaningful changes in the way we manage and cohabitate with Earth’s forests. Derek finds that his work with trees has a way of seeping into all aspects of his life, but he also spends his time in parenting his six year old son and planning the design of his future brewery on the moon.

Michaela Harms

R+D Programs Manager
After completing a university work placement with WholeTrees in 2014, Michaela has returned to the team to manage WT’s research grants. She graduated from Metropolia UAS in Helsinki, Finland with her BSc in Civil Engineering focused on Sustainable Building Engineering. Her thesis on the potentiality of building-integrated photovoltaic energy for southern Finland received a Nordic GBC award for innovation. With her roots in natural building, Michaela hopes to continue the advancement of renewable structural design through research and development. She is an avid backwoods explorer, sauna advocate and team trivia connoisseur.

Robert Mini

Lead Foreman
Robert joined WholeTrees in March 2008 as an entry-level carpenter and has grown into a lead foreman and our go-to artisan craftsman with gusto. His attention to detail and ability to execute detailed projects in scales as small as serpentine wood benches to as large as entire commercial structures remains a huge asset to WholeTrees’ functionality. Rob has studied and built bamboo structures in Hawaii, bringing knowledge of re-purposing invasive wood species into viable round timber structural components. Elusive Works is Robert’s thriving art studio where he crafts wood-turned bowls and large-scale murals.

Owen Hoffman

Lead Carpenter
Owen joined WholeTrees in August 2011 as an entry-level carpenter and quickly established himself as the critical conduit of communication and details.He has been a steady hand at the Giles Residence from before day one. Throughout his childhood, Owen grew up assisting his father in building multiple homes from the ground up. Working for WholeTrees, he finds timber framing and joinery his greatest areas of interest. After the many long days working on-site, Owen spends his free-time playing hockey in a men’s league and disc golf.

Jesse Pauls

Jesse joined the Whole Trees team in October 2016. He grew up in Muscoda where Whole Trees operates one of their kilns. His main focus is on supervising his team who processes whole trees for the company to implement in their many projects throughout the United States. Jesse‘s employment background includes apprentice toolmaker and custom woodworking. One his time away from his awesome job he can be found spending time with his four children and tinkering with Radio Control cars.

Kyle Teal

Digital Coordinator
Kyle Teal joined the WholeTrees team in 2018. His focus involves everything digital from BIM technologies to SEO. He started in videography, which opened the door to a career in all-things-tech. As an emerging professional he is constantly engaging in research and learning new trends to stay on the cutting edge of a quickly changing industry. When he isn’t processing 3D scans for WholeTrees you can find Kyle on his motorcycle, biking or working on his Tiny House.



Professional CEUs and Presentations

WholeTrees is certified to provide continuing education for AIA and GBCI professionals. Why Trees are Stronger than Wood is an intriguing presentation that will provide your team with a better understanding of round and mass timber in ancient and modern construction. 

At the end of this course:

  • Participants will be able to name 3 types of historic structures built using small diameter timber
  • Participants will be able to name a benefit to the forest ecosystems or regional economies of building with small diameter timbers or other mass timber technologies (CLT)
  • Participants will be able to name a performance benefit of using small diameter timber structural system in bending strength, fire rating, fire failure mode, and life cycle performance
  • Participants will be able to quote a new learning of building with small diameter timber found in destructive testing at the USDA Forest Products Lab

Would you like to learn more about specifying WholeTrees into your projects for upcoming clients? We would be happy to provide a lunch and learn for your staff. Contact us with your needs for an educational session in person or via webinar. 



Madison Headquarters:

800 Williamson St.
Madison, WI 53703
(Ph): 608-310-5282

Fabrication Facility:

e7802 Saugstad Road
Westby, WI 54667
(Ph): 608-769-8853

Forest Operations:

e2890 Lorenz Road
Stoddard, WI 54658
(Ph): 608-452-3894

Please direct all e-mail inquiries to