• Words by Mitchell Morris

Saying goodbye to Rosewood...


It’s official, I have fitted the last rosewood piece I can legally import into Australia. I can no longer source rosewood for any guitars or repairs. Earlier this year all rosewoods were added to CITES* Appendix II* (while Brazilian rosewood has been listed on Appendix I* for some time) which means we will start to see less and less rosewood timber available in Australia and later in new guitars. I believe that we can use this change as a push in the right direction to try and combat the current rate of deforestation on this planet. The logging industry can be a cruel mistress rife with illegality, clear cutting, corruption and dirty money. While Timber Barons are the ones benefiting financially, many impoverished countries become worse by the day as their resources are stolen from under their noses, their home lands are ravaged and animal habitats are destroyed taking many rare species with them. I know pictures speak 1000 words and these pictures from various sources (listed below) sum up the current condition of the logging industry.

Image 1 - Clear cut area in Togass National Forest Alaska – where Sitka spruce used on guitar tops is sourced.

Image 2 - Young rosewood plantation trees, which can take around 80 years to

be large enough to be harvested in the use of guitar making.

Image 3 - Trucks carrying trees 300+ years old to be cut and used to make guitars.

Image 4 - Clear cut trees in National Park in the Central highlands of Victoria.

This new information can be our inspiration to leave this world a better place for future generations. We can be the change, by voting with our dollar we choose the future we want to see.

If you’d like more information on this important issue and you’re looking for something new to watch I recommend you see Musicwood (watch here), an entertaining documentary that gives insight into what guitar makers and buyers can do to help preserve our forests.

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*CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

*Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.

*Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

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Sources:

Image 1 – Musicwood documentary - http://musicwoodthefilm.com/

Image 2 - https://www.treeplantation.com/rosewood.html

Image 3 - Taylor Guitars "The State of Ebony" - Guitar Wood

Bob Taylor Video. (Watch Here)

Image 4 – Australian Conservation Foundation - Healthy Ecosystems - email newsletter

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#woodscarcity #rarewoods #ethicalmusic

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