Weyerhaeuser has used the 25th anniversary of the Mount St Helens volcanic eruption to launch a US$1m “Project Habitat” housing campaign.

The company is to use timber from trees planted following the 1980 eruption to build 25 homes for families needing shelter across the US.

William Corbin, Weyerhaeuser’s executive vice-president for international and industrial wood products, said the campaign recognised the return of the company’s working forests around Mount St Helens 25 years after the disaster.

About 18 million seedlings planted following the eruption have grown quickly as the ash has deterred weeds and held moisture. Douglas fir, noble fir and lodegpole pine are now up to 70ft tall and need thinning.

Weyerhaeuser is partnering with Habitat for Humanity in 18 states and three Canadian provinces to complete the homes by May 2006.

Mr Corbin added: “For many of us, this project has special meaning because every home will include some wood from Mount St Helens.”