April 17, 2020 I Operations
Fender To Phase Out Making Ash Guitar Bodies
Fender has begun to phase out the use of ash wood in its production, according to an email that the company sent dealers yesterday.
In an email sent out to dealers, the company explained that invasive insect species, the Emerald Ash Borer, has been responsible for the sharp decline of ash trees in North America over the twenty years. Max Gutnik, Fender vice president of electric guitars, basses and amplifiers, wrote in an email, “While there are currently efforts to cultivate ash borer-resistant trees, there is a 40- to 50-year growth period required for instrument-grade wood.”
Additionally, the company notes that flooding of the Mississippi Delta, which is where the company gets most of its swamp ash wood, has caused a massive shortage of wood.
“As many of you know, it has become increasingly difficult to obtain a steady and predictable supply of ash over the last several years,” Gutnik wrote. “In order to uphold our legacy of consistency and high quality, we, at Fender, have made the decision to remove ash from the majority of our regular production models.”
On March 27, the company has stopped supplying dealers with certain ash models, such as the American Pro Stratocaster.
However, the company will continue to use a small amount of ash to continue to create historically appropriate vintage models, as supplies are available.