West Coast Guitar Series

All guitars in the West Coast Series only use locally harvested woods from the west coast of BC. From Vancouver Island to the Skeena River, BC has the largest biomass per square meter in the world. The BC Raincoast is responsible for some of the most important tone woods used today in musical instruments. I would personally LOVE to get more experience playing instruments restricted to local Raincoast and Boreal forest woods. The few I have played have been SPECTACULAR!! I look forward to showcasing the power of the Raincoast and its incredible history here at Symphontree Music: in word, wood, and song.


Holly: Ilex opaca

  • Specific Gravity: .80
  • Avg. Weight Per Board Foot: 4.17 lb
  • Color Range: Cream -White
  • Typical Width: 2″ to 10″
  • Typical Length: 3′ to 10′ feet

Holly is an excellent substitute for ebony. In the past Holly was stained black and offered as a substitute to Ebony on musical instruments. Holly was also used to make both black and white piano keys.



Holly is an introduced shrub or small tree to the Raincoast that is native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa and southwest Asia. It arrived alongside the “iron men” (a First Peoples name given to Europeans upon first introduction) in the 18th century.  It is widely used in garden plantings along the Pacific Coast, and is also cultivated in holly farms along the coast for the Christmas trade.


Although Holly was an introduced species from Europe, it is widely available all along the coast. This gives me mixed feelings about designating it under the Raincoast woods but nevertheless I have 15m Holly trees in my back yard.

Holly embodies a bright, heavy and articulate sound. It is very rare to see Holly on any instruments.