Wood harvested at the right time
For thousands of years, people have been harvesting wood according to lunar cycles and seasons which affect the quality of the wood. With the 'decreasing moon' (new moon), wood becomes particularly durable and resistant.
Not only can the trees themselves reach an age which exceeds ours by a hundredfold, the wood itself can also last unbelievable periods without damage and significant deterioration. Think of the Asian wooden temples which have survived not only centuries, but thousands of years. Built by Buddhist monks artfully out of mighty tree trunks, such human monuments reveal all the possibilities hidden in the forest.
But how is wood able to withstand the millennium of weathering unscathed?
Three things are responsible for especially durable wood quality. First, the proper selection of tree type, species, and state of maturity. Second, the harvesting of wood at the right time and third - the practice of ideal storage, drying and processing of wood. The introduction of moonwood will allow us to take a closer look, specifically, at the timing of the harvest.
The decrease of sap content in trees in correlation to the lunar cycle encouraged this particular practice of timber harvesting, which formed the central thread of history in the relationship between man and tree. From Julius Caesar, to Pliny the Elder, to Theophrast, we are told of the fact that timber was only cut before the new moon. The foresters of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance also practiced timber harvesting under the lunar cycle. This frequent emergence of moonwood harvesting in the records of history gives the subject itself a great weight, of course. However, the theory alone has not been scientifically tested nor proved until recently.
At one of the most prestigious, technological universities in Europe, "ETH Zurich" around the year 2003, a small research team worked on finding scientific proof for moonwood. Prof. Ernst Zürcher conducted a research project in which extensive various studies of interrelations between time rhythms and plants took place.
It has been observed that the source behavior of beans in water itself is not always the same, but oscillates with the lunar cycle. As the moon grows, the beans absorb more water and with decreasing moon level, they absorbed much less within the same time frame. The germination of seeds of different trees and plants was investigated afterwards for their behaviour under the rhythm of lunar phases. It was shown that the germination rate, germ rates, average height and height of the plants were related to the lunar phase in the duration of four months. A further investigation revealed that trees were in sync with the moon-driven tides of the oceans. When the moon increases, the growth rings become thicker. When the moon decreases, they become thinner again. The diameter of the trees become thicker and thinner in the rhythm of ebb and flow - only by a few hundredths of a millimeter but nevertheless, measurable.
However, the direct weathering tests on wood samples which were evaluated in the study at the ETH Zurich, is decisive proof of the influence of the moon on construction timber. Prof. Zürcher investigated the validity of these old tree felling rules and showed for the first time that moonwood is more durable and weather resistant than conventionally flaked wood.
In addition, he also explained an important part of his findings - the principle of action:
He found out that the behaviour of water in wood is something quite different than in others. The movement of water within the various capillary tubes of wood were subject to numerous physical influences. For example, water in the very fine capillary tubes can assume, for example, a gelatinous aggregate state and remain liquid to -15 ° C.
Moonwood, timber harvested with the decreasing moon, has more bound water in its interior. That is, when drying, it becomes more cohesive which makes the wood more dense, pressure-resistant and also resistant to penetrating fungi, against insects or wood-eating termites. The advantage of moonwood in density was 5-7% spread over several thousand samples. From a technical point of view, this is a significant improvement in quality compared to conventionally harvested wood.
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