Posted on

The Red (Spruce) Scare

The Red (Spruce) Scare

by Ted Davis

Originally published in American Lutherie #2, 1985 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000

Did you ever feel that Murphy (you know, the one who wrote Murphy’s laws) lived close by and visited your work area every time you opened the door? He seems to be a permanent fixture in my shop. Anytime two things can go wrong, the worst one always does! But that rascal must have taken a vacation recently. Let me relate the events of the last few months and see if you don’t agree.

One Sunday while visiting a friend, I picked up the Sunday paper, a luxury I long ago gave up for financial reasons. An article on acid rain in the Great Smoky National Park struck my eye. As I read, I learned that a young PhD candidate was studying the effects of acid rain on the red spruce (Picea rubens) in the park. I reflected on how often I had coveted these magnificent spruces. A single log would give me a lifetime of tonewood. I had even visited park headquarters and inquired about obtaining a piece of a fallen tree. The answer was not “no,” but emphatically “no!” All trees must stay in the park and be left to decay naturally.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.