Other plants do not grow well under walnut trees.
Sunflowers and barley also grow by releasing substances from their roots that inhibit the growth of weeds.
Not only that, but some have the power to kill tree disease fungi that wither leaves and damage tree trunks.

Such substances are called phytoncides.

Once a plant takes root, it must live and protect itself in that location.
Therefore, they release phytoncides to kill the surrounding grass and drive away the insects that eat up the leaves.

Phytoncides are used to make herbicides, insect repellents, and insecticides, and are used to treat human diseases and health, such as antibiotics.
In forest bathing, phytoncides, which are actually terpenes, have a calming effect. reference:「森のふしぎな働き」PHP研究所

Enjoy the “scent of the forest”

Everyone has felt the comfort of being in the forest at least once. By placing yourself in a forest environment, such as hiking, trekking, mountain climbing, or walking through the forest, you can feel the scent of the trees in the refreshing wind, and feel refreshed, refreshed, and healed. However, this is the feeling that people receive from “phytoncide.” These chemical substances (volatile organic compounds) emitted by trees can be recovered as a liquid by distilling the trees with steam, and the recovered liquid is called “essential oil.” It’s called. The aroma of essential oils soothes us. The scent acts on the brain through the human sense of smell and is absorbed into the skin through treatment, increasing the natural healing power of humans and soothing the tired mind and body. The act of improving mental and physical health in this way is called aromatherapy.

“Cedar and cypress” are synonymous with Japanese forests.

Trees have been with us since ancient times in our daily lives in Japan. Many woods, especially softwoods, have unique scents, but the scents of cedar and cypress are perhaps especially familiar to us Japanese people. However, this familiar scent is probably the scent of wood used in houses. In fact, when we examine the main components of essential oils extracted from the wood and leaves of cypress and cedar, we find that their compositions are completely different. Due to the difference in their composition, leaf essential oil has a unique, refreshing scent, while wood essential oil has a slightly calmer scent.

These scents have a strong forest bathing effect, giving us a sense of freshness, balance and tranquility. It has a refreshing and relaxing effect at the same time, relieves fatigue and stress, and revitalizes a tired mind. Why not deepen your understanding of the “cedar” and “cypress” trees that support our lives by learning about the different scents and effects that can be obtained depending on when the plant is harvested and the parts used? ?


If we classify Japan’s forests based on the process by which they were formed, they can be divided into “natural forests,” which sprouted and grew through the forces of nature, and “artificial forests,” which were planted by humans. “Artificial forests” consist of coniferous forests that grow relatively quickly and are suitable for construction purposes, such as cedar, cypress, larch, Japanese red pine, Japanese black pine, Ezo pine, and Sakhalin fir. Forests created by humans for the production of wood resources. From the reconstruction period after World War II to the period of high economic growth, trees were actively planted due to their potential economic value. In Japan, there are many forests that are in disrepair due to lack of maintenance such as thinning. Gifu Prefecture is no exception.

Both artificial forests and natural forests have different purposes and growth processes, but they are both necessary forests for Japan’s land.

Being able to watch over the long term and coexist skillfully while consuming trees is beneficial for people, the forest, and nature. Forests are grown in the following way, commercialized as timber, and used in everyone’s daily lives.

Artificial forests need to be properly managed and cared for. However, as these forests have continued to be left untended, many forests are now in ruins. In desolate forests, the sun’s rays do not reach the ground and it is dark, so almost no grass grows on the ground, and trees that are not properly nourished not only lose their original strength, but also become spindly and thin. They cannot grow and cannot be used as materials for buildings or tools. In addition, forests become difficult for living things to live in, and the hardened soil creates many problems such as flooding and landslides during heavy rains. We need to think seriously about the future of forests now, knowing that keeping the forest environment healthy will protect our health, livelihoods, and safety.

【Experience】 Feel the “scent of the forest” and think about the future of the forest

This is an experiential workshop where you can learn about the current state of mountain forests and consider incorporating the scent of the forest into your daily life as a way to utilize mountain resources.