Bob Taylor, President of Taylor Guitars, and a group of friends are currently on a world tour looking for sustainable tonewoods.
Bob is posting regular updates of his tour on Youtube. You can watch them here:
Traditional tonewoods such as rosewood and mahogany are disappearing fast due to overlogging.
Bob Taylor consequently has two enormous challenges if Taylor Guitars is to survive and prosper into the future:
Firstly he needs to find sustainable sources of new tonewoods with which to build quality guitars.
Secondly he needs to convince a guitar-buying public to say goodbye to traditional tonewoods (perhaps a Farewell Party is needed) and welcome the new sustainable alternatives.
Neither of these challenges will be easy.
Trees take a long time (30+ years) to grow so Bob needs to be thinking 30+ years ahead. How many of us have to think 30+ years ahead just so that we have a job tomorrow?
Now that is a rare challenge!
But he also needs tonewoods in the short term. Traditional tonewoods will be gone well before any trees planted today can be harvested. So the tonewood market over the next 30+ years will be a mixed bag, until people start planting tonewoods to produce a regular, managed supply.
Despite my efforts unfortunately Tasmania is not on Bob Taylor’s itinerary.
In terms of forestry opportunity Tasmania has a poor reputation around the world. The rhetoric here may be “world’s best practice” but that is definitely not how the rest of the world sees us.
Bob Taylor may love Tasmanian blackwood as a tonewood, but as yet he is not prepared to commit his time and energy trying to deal with the many challenges facing forestry in Tasmania.
It will be interesting to watch the videos and see what Bob Taylor & Co discover on their journey.