Taylor Guitars says goodbye!

Eleven years ago when I started this blackwood cooperative dream I hoped that the international tonewood market would play a significant role in the resurrection of the shrinking Tasmanian blackwood industry, and particularly the American tonewood market. In the mid-2000s CF Martin and Taylor Guitars, two of America’s biggest guitar makers, had both started using Tasmanian blackwood on a limited basis, with Taylor bringing it online in 2016 in their 300 series.

Unfortunately CF Martin’s strategy with blackwood failed in the marketplace, and Taylor Guitars have now taken a different road.

No doubt the international profile of Tasmanian blackwood as a premium tonewood has expanded enormously over the last 10 years, thanks largely to the support of Taylor Guitars.

https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/features/woods/body-woods/tasmanian-blackwood

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/category/taylor-guitars/

I had hoped that Taylor Guitars would play a more active role in Tasmania as they are doing in the Cameroon. For many years Taylor Guitars were singing blackwoods praises.

Alas no!

With Taylor Guitars taking on their Urban Wood initiative, and with Acacia melanoxylon being a common planted tree in California, Taylor Guitars are now sourcing their blackwood locally, as announced in the latest Wood & Steel vol. 102 magazine.

Many Taylor guitars made with blackwood have featured blackwood from Australia, but we’ve mostly ceased using wood from there and have been using the same species planted here in California, which comes out of urban landscapes as those trees die or become a danger. Yes, even though we don’t market it like we do Urban Ash, many of our blackwood guitars are now from an urban landscape; in fact, most of them are now. Here, people call them black acacia, and they’re called Tasmanian blackwood or Australian blackwood when they come from Down Under.

I can understand why Taylor has chosen to pursue their Urban Wood initiative. It makes enormous sense from many business and environmental points of view.

https://fb.watch/bisYsyb-k8/

But it leaves Tasmania with yet another missed opportunity.

The forest industry in Tasmania is so conflicted, politicised and toxic it is virtually impossible to attract overseas investor interest. The risks here are just too great. Buyers come here to plunder not to plant!

So we must say goodbye to Taylor Guitars and thank them for their support over the last 18 years.

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