How to turn a freshly-felled 200 year old pine tree into eight radial beams for your medieval church spire

Medieval wood riving is a slow, methodical business. But it's amazing what you can get done with axes and hammers.

The movie describes an attempt to split a thirteen meter long log of pine tree. The riving was done by radial cuts. The original was founded in the spire of the church of Hardemo southwest of Örebro city in the province of Närke. The church was built approximately between 1180 – 1220. These rafts are produced from the log by a method which never been documented before. One side of the rafts is raw sapwood which is rare in churches from the Middle age. All woodworking are done with tools that are modelled on archaeological findings. The felling and riving of the tree are performed with a few axes and tools.

Amazingly relaxing video. Read the rest

The sophisticated, hidden ways that trees cooperate and protect each other

Peter Wohlleben is a German forrester who has revolutionized his field by developing community forest management that does not require pesticides or heavy machinery, and recruits local communities as stakeholders in forestry preservation; but the thing that made him known around the world is his 2016 book The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World, which presents evidence for unprecedented (and even spooky) degrees of cooperation among trees in a forest. Read the rest

It's too late to do anything about sudden oak death, which has already killed 1,000,000 trees

Phytophthora ramorum is a mold, related to the Irish Potato Famine pathogen, that causes some oak and tanoak trees to split open and bleed out all their sap, something called "sudden oak death." Read the rest

Interactive map of the world's tree loss

Global Forest Watch maintains a current map of worldwide tree loss and gain, based upon satellite and other mapping imagery provided by Google. The "loss" color seems to obscure the "gain" color at further-out zoom levels, but it's very easy to explore. [via Flowing Data] Read the rest