Gibson boss says over-harvesting and rainforest destruction means all manufacturers are running out of materials needed to build premium instruments

Axe axed? Last tree will be cut soon

Guitar makers will run out of the specialist woods needed to build premium instruments within the next decade, the head of Gibson has warned.

Henry Juszkiewicz, chief exec of the firm which makes Les Pauls, says deforestation and over-harvesting has led to a chronic shortage of rosewood, maple, ebony, mahogany and spruce.

And it could mean the end of the guitar as we know it.

Juszkieqicz tells the Independent: “The true wood guitar is going to disappear very quickly. We need to act now – because it just won’t be around in ten years.

A documentary called Musicwood, which deals with the issue, is under production. It follows a coalition of representatives of the Gibson, Fender, Martin and Taylor guitar companies as they help Greenpeace try to persuade loggers in the US’ biggest hardwood forest to change their ways, in the hope of preserving a supply of raw materials for the future.

Chris Martin of Martin Guitars says: “The last tree will be cut in our lifetime. If we can persuade them, it will be as close to a miracle as we’re likely to see in our lifetime.”

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