Daisugi is a forestry technique, and the first time was practiced in Japan as a way of growing highly-prized Kitayama Cedar without actually using any land. In the 21st century, the years-old smart method can be witnessed in fancy gardens. Beginning in the 14th century, Daisugi allowed for growing ample amounts of Kitayama cedar.
Daisugi involves heavy trimming of the plant, allowing the straightest shoots to grow. Careful cutting is conducted every couple of years, leaving only the top boughs and ensuring that the stalks remain knot-free. After about 20 years, the massive shoots can either be harvested as exceptional Kitayama lumber to repopulate forests.
Twenty years may seem like a long time, but daisugi-grown cedars actually grow at an accelerated rate as compared to soil-planted. This unique forestry technique also results in Kitayama lumber that is 40% more flexible and 100% stronger than the usual soil grew lumber.
Daisugi was first introduced in the 14th century, when Sukiya-Zukuri went famous and successful, an architectural style that circled the use of natural materials, especially wood. Straight and knot-free Kitayama logs were used as pillars in Sukiya-Zukuri houses.
Wrath of Gnon, whose tweets on the ancient Japanese forestry technique went viral recently, said Kitayama tree stocks could support dozens of straight shoots at a time and could be used for up to 200 – 300 years. These “mother trees” can still be found in some regions of Japan, and some of them have trunks about 15 meters in diameter.
Demand for Kitayama cedar went down in the 16th century, in result popularity of Daisugi as a forestry technique died as well. However, even today because of its attractive and beautiful design, Daisugi can still be witnessed in decorative gardens around Japan.