There's An Ancient Japanese Pruning Method That Can Prevent Deforestation

There's An Ancient Japanese Pruning Method That Can Prevent Deforestation

An ancient technique that could save the world

Originating in Japan, Daisugi is a technique of bonsai that is not only incredibly useful but also very rare. Daisugi produces special straight lumber that other agricultural techniques simply cannot. Created in the 14th century for the benefit of samurai, this special technique has been used in Kitayama for centuries. This ancient technique has the potential to save the world from complete destruction but how?

Daisugi Tree Pine Forest

Kitayama Agriculture

Daisugi is derived from the Japanese word ‘sugi’ meaning cedar. Cedar is well known for its long, straight lumber but the trees grown in Kitayama are on a whole other level. The Kitayama cedar trees are cultivated in such a way that they will grow to be very tall and straight but also very thin. Not only this but the actual growing and harvesting of the trees in Kitayama are extremely sustainable.

To be harvested, each cedar tree needs to be completely cut down so to maintain sustainability, foresters have already prepared the next generation of trees and started growing them long before the first set has been cut down. While this is sustainable, it means that the harvesters will need to wait at least a decade, maybe more, before they can reap the benefits of the cedar trees.

Japanese Forestry Tree

More timber from each tree

The technique itself is quite simple but has a significant number of benefits to it. In Daisugi, each cedar tree is heavily pruned in a special way so that it forms a large bonsai with shoots of long, straight cedar branches growing upwards. Effectively, it looks like a tree growing on top of another tree. One base tree can grow up to 100 shoots, allowing the smaller branches to be harvested over the years while the base Daisugi itself will keep growing meaning over time, the harvesters will be able to get more timber from each and every tree.

Daisugi Tree Pine

Furthermore, compared to normal sugi, it's twice as strong, more dense, and a lot more flexible. Given that cedar has so many uses all over the world, this technique could help reduce deforestation, aid in battling climate change and potentially save the world.

This ancient bonsai technique has been used for hundreds of years in Japan, proving that it is a sustainable, well-founded practice when done correctly. The stronger, denser wood produced from Daisugi has a countless number of applications and the trees will last for decades to come, consistently producing cedar.


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