It is not only the growth of the tree which depends on water. The moisture content attracts fungi and insects which potentially causes damage to wooden buildings and artifacts.
The question is how much moisture is left in the wood.
Below 20% moisture content, wood is protected from fungi and below 8-12%, it is protected from insects. This natural resistance is the basis of wood preservation without toxic chemicals and the secret behind the durability of wood buildings which have survived hundreds and sometimes thousands of years without damage. 'Natural wood protection' means to harvest the trees at the right time and dry it in ways which further protect it from insects and fungi.
Trees or fresh logs contain large amounts of water often weighing more than 50% of the trees' weight. Every piece of wood, no matter if it has been used for furniture, roof trusses, toys or buildings, contain only approx. 6-20% moisture content.
The old woodworkers say, "If you want quality building wood, the best way is to cut the trees and have them lying with their tops pointing downhill for a few weeks before you cut off the branches."
When a tree is cut down, it wants to procreate one more time. The sap moves through the channel and pipe system from the trunk into the branches to grow leaves and flowers. When the tree is lying with its top pointed downhill, gravity supports the flow as well, naturally draining the sap and leading to an evenly dried tree trunk.
We undertook the following experiment: One spring, when the trees were growing leaves and the sap was moving freely, I cut down a beech tree. I cut the trunk into two pieces and had both pieces laid on the ground, pointing downhill in opposite directions.
After a short time, the sap started to drop from both stems: the piece lying with the tree top facing downhill lost three times as much sap than the other one, which had the bottom part of the tree pointing downhill. This is not surprising and confirmed our expectations. This ideal way of drying wood naturally results in a better quality product.
Holz100 Canada Inc.