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         6 July 2022          Danny R.

Sustainable timber grown in Japan

A highly sustainable Japanese forestry technique allows wood to be grown, harvested, and used for many purposes from construction to furniture - but without cutting down any trees.


It's called the Daisugi technique.

The new shoots of Cedar tree branches are pruned repeatedly - a similar technique to bonsai - until after several years they regrow as perfectly straight, vertical logs ON TOP of the cedar tree, leaving the original tree below unchanged.

After the logs have been cut down, it takes around 20 years for them to regrow (very fast for cedar) and they can be continually "harvested" for many hundreds of years. The process yields dozens of giant vertical logs per tree. That's a boatload of lumber from a single tree let alone a forest!

The wood is knot-free, very straight, very strong, fast growing, in very high demand, and as you can see, highly sustainable.

You'd be forgiven for thinking this is a photoshopped image, but this is actually what it looks like:

Daisugi-grown Cedar Trees in Japan (photo not mine - image source unknown).

A few emails back I mentioned that the word sustainable is often misused, commonly as a synonym for "responsible" or "good".

A tree that can continually pump out fresh timber for many human lifetimes is pretty much the definition of sustainable.

Keep this example in mind, and notice where you see the word sustainable being used. My bet is that you'll spot a piece of greenwash or two!

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