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What is Moon Phase Harvesting?

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.



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"E-WIRE" lights by Andy Horn

The Eco Design lighting range is made from local or recycled materials. Standing Floor Lamps, Desk Lamps, Pendant Lights and Chandeliers are available. The lamp stands are from locally moon phase harvested alien timber. Recycled car parts are used as bases. Various paper shades & low energy LED light bulbs provide good lighting and create a beautiful atmosphere.

Click here for more info & prices.


We offer a number of construction & info manuals on our website on natural building technologies which specifically refer to the South African context. The info manual "A LIME DUNG PLASTER RECIPE" has recently been added to the collection.   Click here for more information.

All our manuals are also now available as E-Book downloads. Click here for the E-Books.