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Ancient Technique Called Daisugi Lets You Produce Lumber Without Cutting Down Trees

Ancient Technique Called Daisugi Lets You Produce Lumber Without Cutting Down Trees

The Daisugi method of forestry is sustainable and a great way to prevent deforestation, and even produces high-quality lumber.

The Japanese have always been known to be innovative and hard-working. They have a good grasp on their traditional roots which also allow them to put it to the best use in the current times. From the same country that we got the practice of bonsai, there is another alternative that has productive utility on top of being aesthetically pleasing. It is the practice of Daisugi. A Twitter thread recently caught the attention of a lot of users that explained this sustainable forestry method. The Daisugi method of forestry ensures that trees need not be cut down for harvesting lumber and it is fascinating.



 

Twitter user Wrath of Gnon started of the interesting Twitter thread by stating, Daisugi is a Japanese forestry technique where specially planted cedar trees are pruned heavily (think of it as giant bonsai) to produce "shoots" that become perfectly uniform, straight and completely knot-free lumber. The user then goes on to explain how it is possible to harvest lumber without actually cutting down trees. The user went on to say, The shoots are carefully and gently pruned by hand every two years leaving only the top boughs, allowing them to grow straight. Harvesting takes 20 years and old "tree stock" can grow up to a hundred shoots at a time. The technique originated in the 14th century.



 

The practice originated in the 14th century and is practiced in Kitayama, the North Mountains of Kyoto, according to Earthbuddies. In Japanese, Sugi means cedar, which is already known to produce long and straight lumber. Twitter user Wrath of Gnon went on to explain, In the 14th c. a form of very straight and stylized sukiya-zukuri architecture was high fashion, but there simply weren't nearly enough raw materials to build these homes for every noble or samurai who wanted one. Hence this clever solution of using bonsai techniques on trees.



 

Sugi also happens to be, as stated by Japan Times, fast-growing evergreens that yield a strong, durable, and fragrant wood. It is also very useful for both building and joinery. Wrath of Gnon continued, But it wasn't all for the show: the lumber produced in this method is 140% as flexible as standard cedar and 200% as dense/strong, in other words, it was absolutely perfect for rafters and roof timber where aesthetics called for slender yet typhoon resistant perfectly straight lumber. The Daisugi looks very peculiar, so even when demand for the lumber dropped off in the 16th-century demand for them in ornamental gardens kept the forest wardens busy.



 

Daisugi also requires patience and persistence since the foresters will have to wait for at least two generations before actually being able to reap what they sowed. In most cases, it is a multi-generation plant that the foresters harvest. Probably the tree that their grandfathers planted. Further, they will then plant trees for their grandchildren. This is an ideal situation when it comes to utilizing trees because the current generation has already prepared their grandchildren’s share of trees even before cutting down their own. This is a great way to prevent deforestation and the downsides that come with it. The Twitter user concluded, The Daisugi looks very peculiar, so even when demand for the lumber dropped off in the 16th-century demand for them in ornamental gardens kept the forest wardens busy.



 

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