Daisugi: Ancient Japanese technique

Dating back to the 14th century, Daisugi is a special forestry technique developed in Japan for cultivating the highly prized Kitayama Cedar. Similar to bonsai, this technique involves heavy pruning of the mother cedar tree in such a way that only the straightest shoots are allowed to grow. To keep the trees knot-free, every three to four years workers climb up and carefully prune any developing branches.

Daisugi grown trees grow at an accelerated rate compared to soil-planted ones and after about 20 years the branches can either be harvested or replanted. The lumber thus produced, known as Kitayama Maruta logs, are 140% more flexible and twice as strong. While the massive shoots are harvested every 20 years, the mother trees live up to a hundred years, so a lot of wood can be obtained from just one tree.

Here's how this technique was born. In the 14th century, Sukiya-Zukuri, an architectural style characterized by the use of natural materials, especially wood, became famous. Due to high demand and low land availability foresters came up with this technique.

However, this technique has waned due to fall in demand. It can still be seen in ornamental gardens around Japan.