Wood culture and parasites

The capacity of the wood to resist parasites is widely underestimated and it is not us who say it but the experts of this material. However, assuming that woodworms are a serious problem for furniture and parquet - and even more so for load-bearing structures - have you ever wondered why not all artifacts of wood they are attacked the same way by parasites?

First of all it must be said that some essences such as chestnut, larch, pine and oak defend themselves better than others from woodworms because they contain in good quantities particular substances (tannins, phenol and oleoresins) that contrast them in a natural way. Nature wanted to concentrate these substances in the heartwood (the innermost part of the trunk) and consequently the attacks of parasites they will be limited to sapwood (the outer part under the bark and another layer called cambium). In the furniture there is more sapwood than heartwood and the problem arises, but for the beams you can rest assured and you can almost do withoutantitarlo.

So far I agree. One thing that few know is that the difference between wood healthy and worm-eaten wood (obviously we are talking about untreated essences) it can also depend on the cutting period of the trunk and the following washing and seasoning operations. Our grandparents never forgot that good wood it is cut in winter, not only because without leaves it is more convenient but because the trunks are poor in sap, and which must be washed immediately afterwards (even leaving them in the open air for a few months) and dried to remove protein substances.

But it doesn't stop there: the deadlines of the lunar cycle also determine the quality of the wood because the moon affects lymphatic movement and, depending on the period, the trunk may be more suited to one use or another, including serving as a fuel. If you are interested in this aspect, get a biodynamic calendar where you will find useful information and the right deadlines for cutting the wood according to the desired uses.

It would be enough to apply these rules by drawing them from ancient times wood culture to have a wood naturally unappetizing to parasites without the need for any treatment. Sure, but can you imagine the scene? 'Excuse me, you guarantee that that dresser is made of wood cut in winter on a waning moon '? No come on, let's be concrete, the rhythms of the modern industry of wood they do not reconcile with the biodynamic calendar (which however some sawmills put into practice, for example in South Tyrol) and then the woodworm treatment is needed, but in the right way.

Even in the case of woods more easily attacked by woodworms, harmful treatments with pesticides chemicals can be avoided both originally as a preventive measure and during when the problem arises, and replaced with other less aggressive ones. A proven technique of preservation and disinfestation of the wood is the autoclave treatment with compressed air at 60 ° C, a system that denaturing the lignin (wood protein) makes it unappetizing parasites. For pest control there is also microwave treatment: the wood it does not cook woodworms but yes.

Autoclaves and microwaves, however, are challenging systems when the risk woodworms the most convenient approach is limited to treatment with non-toxic substances, such as boron salts for prevention. If the attack of the parasites is already in place you can intervene with systems and preparations that we explain in this article, without forgetting that furniture and artifacts of wood they are also protected over time by regular periodic polishing with beeswax and a little propolis.

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