"During and after finishing my forestry studies, I dedicated myself mainly to native forests and wood. The old wooden chimney became an important symbol of a real connection and friendship between man and tree." - Dr. Erwin Thoma
The relationship between man and tree has grown in understanding of one another over lengths of time as both learned how to cohabitate together very well. Together we can master most challenges and much of the traditional architecture that exists to this day is living proof of it. There are buildings which have endured centuries of wear and tear - some have even survived fires. They were never treated with toxic paints and preservatives such as the old Court Building in 'Suiz', built 700 years ago with untreated wood and still stands to this day.
Man relies on trees not only for building homes. We find examples of this symbiosis in nearly all areas of life, such as wooden bridges which connect two river banks. Their untreated posts have been standing in the water, often for centuries, without polluting the waters with toxic chemicals and without rotting away.
Due to its colour and texture, untreated wood furniture is highly individual and is always one of a kind. Wooden hand tools are sleek, tough, gracious and light. Wooden barrels play a significant role in perfecting the ripening process of the wine or cognac stored in them.
How did the old masters know? The ones who produced wooden musical instruments, without which we would have never heard such beautiful music?
Ever since we began collecting information about human life, we have found evidence of a strong bond between man and tree in the form of tools, buildings and other wooden items. Historical sources go back centuries and records show that the best times to harvest trees is always in the winter.
This has been mentioned throughout Chinese civilizations, Roman antiquity and medieval ship-building techniques until the beginning of the 20th century. Caesar and Napoleon, the Roman historical Plinius, the French, German and Austrian forestry commissions preferred that the time for harvesting wood be in winter, ideally when the moon was waning, just before the new moon in Capricorn. This happens to be around Christmas/ New Year every year.
The close study of these historical sources also brings to light another point of interest: besides the right timing of the harvest, the correct and thorough choice of wood type for the job required is of importance as well. Even the way the tree has grown and the different types of soil and other aspects have an influence on our selection process.
With the increasing use of chemical preservatives in the past century, man, the sorcerer's apprentice, has unfortunately forgotten about these traditional methods.
For most, it takes time to properly understand the wisdom such as the one Dr. Thoma's grandfather has passed on in his simple words. However, through Holz100, we hope to introduce the secrets of our mysterious forests and how to incorporate nature in an easy and healthy way into our daily lives. Irrespective of whether you are just from looking to buy some wooden toys, furniture, lay a wooden floor or build a wooden house, we hope to provide North America basic knowledge about wood and its products.
Holz100 Canada Inc.