Ancient Technique Called Daisugi Allows People To Produce Lumber Without Having To Cut Trees

Ancient Technique Called Daisugi Allows People To Produce Lumber Without Having To Cut Trees

The technique dates back to the 14th century so as to cater to the demand of stylized Sukiya-Zukuri architecture of back then.

Japan is an interesting country. Even though it's a relatively small country in terms of landmass and population, it is known to be a hard-working and innovative nation with some amazing solutions to questions most people haven't even thought of. One of them is the most famous Japanese exports to other parts of the world - Bonsai. The art of growing tiny plants in pots that resemble big trees, dating back thousands of years. However, have you come across this technique called Daisugi? It follows quite a similar technique to that of Bonsai but the results are vastly different, reports Bored Panda. To put it in easily explainable terms, if Bonsai is Scott Lang as Ant-Man, Daisugi is GIANT Man. A twitter user by the name Wrath of Gnon explains the beautiful phenomenon through a series of tweets.



He terms it sustainable forestry wherein one can lumber without needing to cut down the trees. He continues: "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 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," he continues. "The technique originated in the 14th century."


He then explains the history and origins of the technique."In the 14th century, 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."




He notes that the technique wasn't all for the aesthetics either because the lumber produced with this technique is 140 percent more flexible as standard cedar while being 200 percent as dense or strong. "In other words, it was absolutely perfect for rafters and roof timber where aesthetics called for slender yet typhoon resistant perfectly straight lumber," he stated.


Even the fact that the housing industry back then reached saturation point couldn't stop this unique art form from flourishing because of it's "peculiar" nature. The user notes that even though demand for the lumber went down significantly in the 16th century, demand for the interesting grooming technique helped forest wardens keep their jobs. Writing on where these beautiful trees can be found, he wrote: "Here and there in the forests around Kyoto you will find abandoned giant daisugi (they only produce lumber for 200-300 years before being worn out), still alive, some with trunk diameters of over 15 meters. Out of this world beautiful."

Source: Twitter/Wrath of Gnon

The user also stated that the trees produce for 2 or 3 centuries before being worn out. A normal tree has dozens of "shoots" in "production" at all times for continuous harvesting, he wrote. The post has become a bit of a sensation since it was posted in April and has been liked over 17.6k times while over 6.4k retweets and comments have also been recorded so far. One user, meanwhile, pointed out that the technique is also seen in other places under the name Coppice and Pollarding.  However, Wrath pointed out that, Pollarding, as seen in the UK,  is a little different, "as it doesn't work with any other conifers than saplings from one specific mutant cedar in a shrine near Kyoto."



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