... and comes to a point where its moisture content hardly varies anymore. This drying process is the reason for a loss of volume, called shrinkage and causes the wood to move in different ways.
Let's have a closer look at shrinkage:
Freshly cut log / The same log some months or years later.
Expansion and shrinkage of Wood
Round wood and freshly sawn boards have higher moisture contents than wooden furniture and wood that has been built with. Wood dries until it has adapted to the surrounding climate...
For aluminum it is 6 miles while for wood it is (depending on type and structure) 6-18 miles. The results for wood are excellent when considering the context between volume, its weight and ability to insulate acoustically and thermally.
You can work out the specific strength of a material by using the 'self-support length' method - the maximum length of a vertical column that can suspend its own weight. For steel, this length depends on the steel's quality and is around 2-4 miles.
Wood - a very peculiar material
Wood is not homogeneous like for example metal, glass or some synthetics. It consists of a variety of ingredients, combination of cells, pores, capillaries and provides a plethora of fantastic characteristics.
This book's purpose is to answer your questions and to inspire you to find a new option. Making changes is not easy and requires overcoming inertia. So don't expect to get a hug when you turn up at the sawmill with your checklist and questions.
When are the best days to harvest for building wood? How long should wood be air-dried before you can turn them into furniture? Is it necessary to paint the external cladding of the house? Not everyone can ask their grandfather for advice like I could.
Embracing the gift of our forests is the easy way to bring the mystery of trees into our hearts. Enjoyment, fulfillment and finding our own mystery will be our reward.
Part Three - Information and Service
If you are a mother looking for toys for your children, a builder, worker, architect, wood sawyer or forester in the forest, we all can work on this huge task from our points of view. By consciously working with nature, we enrich, enliven and keep her riches for our children.
It is possible to work with wood in ways where synthetic chemicals are not needed. Natural wood can last for hundreds of years and after its usage it still can safely be returned to nature. As ash and mulch it provides nutrients for the next generation of trees and the natural cycle closes.
The decay to humus is the basis of existence for the next generation.
This brings us to the conclusion
Trees are living beings and they connect the divine air element with the earthy, dense and dark energies of the soil.
It also can be frustrating, worrying and weakening. Crucial here is the question: what has been done to the wood. How was it treated and worked with?
To harvest a tree doesn't mean to kill it. The falling of a mature tree is part of the natural cycle.
It makes contact with us humans via our senses. We perceive its colour, form and the spirit which has worked it.
A piece of furniture or floor can have a calming, uplifting, joyous effect and supply us with energy.
Of what practical value is it for builders and buyers to know about the secret life of trees? From an ecological building point of view, we know that untreated wood is breathing building material; it absorbs, retains, and releases moisture.
In the book of Genesis: The Lord God made to grow from the soil every tree that is pleasant to sight and good for food. The tree of life and the tree of knowledge grow in the middle of the garden.
As such the tree doesn't die when harvested, but when its connections, rhythms and tasks are taken away and when it is banned from the lives of humans.
The death of a tree starts with the destruction of its inherent mystery by wiping out the idea of our natural cycles and the connection between heaven and earth. In many religions and cultures we find trees as symbols for life.
A large variety of wonderful cycles, polar opposites, tensions, rhythms are balancing and harmonizing extremes, shrouding trees in mystery. It is this mysterious vitality behind the tree which decides about its life and death.
The sky's energy floods through the tree into the earth, darkness and light complete each other. A tree is much more than a collection of wooden cells or the sequence of biological reactions.
This energy makes the soil fertile and helps seeds to sprout and grow towards the light of the sun and the cycle closes.
Every tree naturally transmits light into the darkness of the earth and transforms airy energies into solid form.
Leaves, needles and branches harness light and the heavenly energies of the sky which then is channeled via the trunk to the roots into the opposite element, the earth. Oxygen, fertility and life reach and penetrate the dark layers of the earth.
The elemental forces touch us when we see how an old oak tree defies a violent autumn storm, when we hear the gentle whisper of Aspen leaves? The language of trees is more beautiful and faceted than anyone could ever put down on paper.
Simply put, the sound of birds promotes the growth of plants. Apart from this, there is a huge amount of interconnection between trees and their environment, which simply keeps us short of words.
Who doesn't know the light and liberating feeling of happiness which overcomes us when looking at a flowering cherry tree in spring?
It has been found, that for trees to develop properly, they also need the sound of birds singing!
In this study, it was proven that particular plant cells absorb water and nutrients better with the specific sound frequencies of bird songs.
It also affects the sensory world of humans, animals and plants by its form, color and sound.
An example of one of the many ways trees interact with their environment is shown by American research regarding the impact sound frequencies of birds have on the development of plant cells.
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