The UK’s population of ash trees faces decimation from Chalara Ash Dieback disease which is spread by air-borne spores (and possibly by past government inaction).
Does this mean a potential windfall (or at least axe-fall) for luthiers?
The bodies of Fender guitars are made from alder or ash. Traditionally, the darker grained ash is used in guitars with non-opaque finishes: sunburst, blonde and natural finishes. The most prized of vintage Strats were made from “swamp ash”, grown in wet conditions where the water-logged wood develops a more open cell-structure that, when dried becomes beautifully resonant.
Here’s a rather tasty ash-bodied strat:
…and here’s some Hi Ho Silver Lining…
Update: (20th November)Sadly not. I’ve just learned that infected trees tend to rot from the inside => no nice wood.