Analysis October 2023: Climate change and tonewood


The past summer has seen catastrophic heatwaves strike almost all of Europe. What effect have they had on the forests of spruce and maple that tonewood dealers depend on?

The recent pan-European heatwave has placed new pressures on suppliers of tonewood for musical instruments. Competition from China, inflation and global economic instability have already led some suppliers to quit the trade. But climate change is further turning up the heat. The conditions pose a threat to an already precarious supply of the premium aged European maple prized by luthiers, as well as the condition of spruce forests, which have historically been a more accessible and carefully managed tonewood asset across central Europe…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.