The Ebony Project: Why Replant? (7)

Why Replanting Is Essential

Recent research reveals that Cameroon has a healthy inventory of ebony. This and the fact that global demand for ebony is relatively small suggest that with proper management, including replanting, the prospect of maintaining a sustainable population of ebony trees in Cameroon is strong. But we believe it’s vital that we act now. While Cameroon’s rate of forest loss is low compared to countries experiencing large-scale deforestation, the rate of deforestation and forest degradation is steadily increasing. By 2030, if Cameroon continues on its current trajectory, rates will double. This region also faces increasing threats from fuelwood demand for urban centers, unsustainable expansion of smallholder and industrial-scale agriculture, and informal logging and mining.


Video: Why Replant?


Bob Taylor recalls the encounter that helped him realize the importance of replanting ebony.


The Need for Ebony Research


As Crelicam owners Bob Taylor and Vidal de Teresa became more interested in planting ebony in Cameroon, they began to collect ebony seeds from the forest and built a small trial nursery on the grounds of Crelicam to experiment. Admittedly they knew little about how to properly cultivate ebony — their early trials produced a low germination rate — but they were eager to learn more. They soon discovered that they were not alone, as very little research had been done regarding West African ebony’s basic ecology.

Video: Seeds in the Ground


“If we don’t replant, we won’t be making guitars in 50 or 100 years.”

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