What is Moon Phase Harvesting? Print

Moon Phase Harvesting is an ancient method of preserving timber by cutting wood according to the phases of the moon. Like the tides of the ocean, the moon also influences the rise & fall of the sap in the wood. The wood is cut when the sap is lower, which is in the autumn & winter months i.e. hibernation period. During these months the sap in the tree is at its lowest  in the days before the new moon. The lack of sap therefore is a natural protection that prevents insects &  fungus from infesting the  wood & thus increases its durability.
The trees are left to dry (cure) for 4 – 8 weeks in the forest with their bark, as well as the crown of the tree and a few side branches with leaves left intact. This also reduces the amount of cracking & warping that occurs as the timber dries out.
By propping the stem up and drying with branches and bark, the gravitation helps the tree to pull the last traces of sap to its branches as it dies.

Eco Design Architects supports the continuing scientific research on this field which is currently being conducted in Europe and Japan.


  • Superior Quality
  • No Infestation of Insects
  • No Cracking, Splitting or Warping of Wood
  • No Toxic Poisons needed
  • Longer Durability
  • Lower Carbon Footprint
  • Extracting lighter timber uses less diesel
  • No kiln drying needed

When to cut: During the 3 days before the New Moon, but only between the Autumn Equinox & Winter Solstice.

Please also see images of projects where Eco Design have used this ancient technique. Click here to view for project 1 or project 2.