Harvest of wood without cutting down trees

Daisugi Japanese methods

Since ancient times, when people learned how to make fire, first the ax, and then more modern tools, became their faithful companions. In most cases, the method of harvesting wood is to completely cut down the tree and plant new trees in the felled area. However, the Japanese, who do not have at their disposal territories for growing trees for felling, came up with a unique technique of harvesting, which is called daisugi.

Many people know about bonsai, the art of growing miniature copies of trees. But few people know about daisugi, a technique that partly resembles bonsai, but gives a completely different result - it is with its help that you can get wood without cutting down trees.

The daisugi method is associated with sukiya-zukuri, a style of architecture of a residential building where natural materials are used, especially wood. Suki, by the way, means exquisite, tasteful, and pleasure in elegant pursuits. More often than not, this single word referred to the exercise of an exquisitely executed tea ceremony.

The Kitayama logs, which are knot-free and straight were used as columns in houses built in the Sukiya-zukuri style. However, there was not much land to be able to grow just right amount of these trees to satisfy demand, and the daisugi technique was born. The demand for Chinese cedarwood disappeared in the XVI century, so the famousness of daisugi as a harvesting method plummeted. However, today examples of the use of this amazing technique can be seen in landscape gardens along with the well-known art of bonsai.

The daisugi technique is supposedly dated to the 14th century and is unique in that it allows you to extract wood without cutting the mother trunk. For this, a special type of tree is used. It is the Kitayama cedar, whose feature is ideally straight growth without knots. Plus, the technique was invented in the Kitayama region, where there are too many hills and therefore it is difficult to grow plants and trees. Thanks to the daisugi, local residents were able to save on plots of land and harvest faster. At the same time, cedar trees looked very elegant, so when the demand for wood fell, they began to grow them using this method and purely for decorative purposes.

Thus, to save space, the Japanese learned to grow and cut the mother trunk in such a way that only the most straight, shoots were left, which after a couple of decades became suitable for cutting down. At the same time, the cedar grew only upward, allowing the land to be planted with a large number of new trees, and the sawing its branches off did not harm the mother's trunk in any way, keeping the plant alive.

In addition to the compactness of this technique, another advantage of daisugi is the production of truly high-quality wood. The secret is that daisugi wood is almost twice as strong as cedar when planted in the ground, and almost 150% more flexible. Such wood is most valuable for the production of high-quality furniture and other products.

However, in addition to its practical purpose, today the daisugi technique is most often used for decorative purposes - such trees have begun to decorate local gardens. You may still find the oldest representatives of the Chinese cedars, grown in this way many centuries ago in the forests of Kyoto. The diameter of trunks of some of them can be about 15 meters long.

Why not take advantage of this wonderful invention for the sustainable development of our territories, instead of making “graphic” invalids out of the trees that give us oxygen?

About the author

Melisa Marzett is a freelance writer who has many years of experience despite her young age. Working for  https://writing-help.org/, she writes about anything. She reads a lot from an early age, and due to her natural curiosity, she has always been eager to know how the world works.

/ / / / /