Tom Bedell & the World’s Tropical Rainforests

As the owner of Bedell Guitars, I have personally visited many of the world’s tropical rainforests. The largest, the Amazon River Basin, is the source of our cherished Brazilian rosewood – Mother Nature’s most exceptional tonewood gift. The second largest, the Congo River Basin, grows African ebony and African mahogany. The Maya Biosphere Reserve in NE Guatemala is America’s largest tropical rainforest north of the Amazon and source of our Honduran mahogany. America’s largest National Forest, the Tongass, is home to the giant 500-year-old Sitka spruce – the most popular top tonewood for acoustic guitars.

Although we do not source tonewood from them, I have also traveled to many other rainforests to understand their magic, what sustainability practices work and what human dynamics may be threatening the survival of these ancient old-growth forests. For example, Southeast Asian and Madagascar rainforests have been threatened by the illegal overharvest and export of rosewood. Indonesia and Papua New Guinea have experienced devastating clear-cutting to make way for palm oil plantations. It is clear, for the world’s rainforests to prosper requires a non-corrupt government committed to sustainable forestry policies, enforcement, and economic benefits from the forests for the indigenous people.

At Bedell Guitars, our motto is, “SEED TO SONG,” and we live by it