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According to one folkloreAccording to one folklore belief, the best time to cut timber is when the Moon is waning (dark of the Moon), between full and new (some variations refine this to last quarter), when the sap is thought to be lower in the tree. (In general, sap carries water and nutrients to many parts of a healthy tree, but the volume fluctuates in places due to a number of factors, and stem diameter can change slightly). Other variations of this belief say to cut closest to the new Moon, or during the first and last quarters. It was believed that at the time of the full Moon (due to the pull of the Moon's gravity), a larger volume of sap was present in higher sections of the tree, making the wood softer. If one cut timber at this time, it would tend to split, bleed more, and encourage wood-boring insects and rot. As it dried, it would shrink more.

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