Eusideroxylon zwageri

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Bornean ironwood
Eusideroxylon zwageri.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Eusideroxylon
Species: E. zwageri
Binomial name
Eusideroxylon zwageri
Teijsm. & Binn.
Synonyms[1][2]

Eusideroxylon zwageri is a rare timber tree native to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines region. It is known colloquially in English as Bornean ironwood,[3] billian, or ulin.[3]

Distribution[edit]

It is native to Brunei; Flores, Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia; the Sabah and Sarawak states of Malaysia; and the Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines.[4] It is threatened by habitat loss. The government of Indonesia and the state government of Sarawak have formally banned the export of this species. Illegal smuggling continues to be a major problem.[5]

Eusideroxylon zwageri grows in lowland primary and secondary forest up to 625m altitude.[6] It prefers well-drained soils, sandy to clay-loam, sometimes limestone. It is commonly found along rivers and adjacent hills. It requires an average annual rainfall of 2,500–4,000 mm. It occurs scattered or in groups.

This very important tree is one of the most durable and heaviest timbers in the world. It is now threatened by over-exploitation, lack of regeneration and difficulties in cultivation.[7]

Description[edit]

Eusideroxylon zwageri is a slow growing (0.5 centimeters per year)[8][9] tall evergreen tree with a straight bole (usually host to Cassytha, a parasitic vine with leaves reduced to scales, up to half of the tree's height). It is slightly fluted at the base, up to 150–220 cm in diameter. The trunk has many small, rounded buttresses that give the base an elephant-foot like appearance. Individual trees may reach an age of 1,000 years or more. Common commercially exploitable trees attain a height of 30 or more metres (100 ft) with trunk diameters of exploitable trees up to 92 cm (36 inches). Protected trees are towering giants of the forest attaining a height of up to 50 metres and a diameter of 220 cm – though height is routinely reduced by lightning strikes.[10] An Ulin tree discovered in 1993 in Kutai National Park, is one of the largest plants in Indonesia. It is an estimated 1,000 years old, and has increased its diameter from 2.41 to 2.47 metres in the 20 years since its discovery. Its height was however reduced from some 30 metres to only 20 after a lightning strike.[8] Another at Sangkimah in the west of the park has a diameter of 2.25 metres and a height of some 45 metres.[11]

The trees' leaves are dark green, simple, leathery, elliptical to ovate, 14–18 cm long (5.5–7.5 inches) and 5–11 cm wide (2–4 inches), and are alternate, rarely whorled or opposite, without stipules and petiolate. The leaf blade is entire (unlobed or lobed in Sassafras) and occasionally with domatia (crevices or hollows serving as lodging for mites) in axils of main lateral veins (present in Cinnamomum).[12]

The inflorescences which are in the axils of leaves or deciduous bracts, include panicles (rarely heads), racemes, compound cymes, or pseudoumbels (spikes in Cassytha), and are sometimes enclosed by decussate bracts.[12] The flowers are bisexual only or staminate and bisexual on some plants, pistillate and bisexual on others. The flowers are usually yellow to greenish or white, rarely reddish. The hypanthium are well-developed, resembling calyx tube tepals and the stamens perigynous. The tepals are in groups of 6 to 9, in 2 or 3 whorls of 3 and sepaloid. If tepals are unequal will then usually possess 3 outer smaller rather than inner 3. This is occasionally absent in Litsea. The stamens are in multiples and whorls of 3, but 1 or more whorls are frequently staminodial or absent. The stamens of the third whorl has 2 glands near its base. These are 2-4 locular, with locules opening by valves.[6]

There is one pistil and one carpel. There is a one locular ovary with a basal placentation; one ovule; a subsessile stigma, which is discoid or capitate. The fruit are drupes, a drupe borne on a pedicel with or without persistent tepals at its base, or is seated in ± deeply cup-shaped receptacle (cupule), or is enclosed in an accrescent floral tube. The fruit contains one seed without an endosperm. The fruit are poisonous to humans but have medicinal properties.[12]

The parasite vine, Cassytha is sometimes placed in its own family, Cassythaceae.

Habitat[edit]

Eusideroxylon zwageri seedlings require some shade, while older trees need plenty of light.[13] It can be found in valleys and on hillsides and even on low ridges when soil moisture is sufficient at elevations between sea level and 625 m. The standing timber volume of trees with a diameter of over 50 cm may be as much as 90-112 m3.[6]

Silviculture[edit]

Eusideroxylon zwageri has a very slow growth rate of mean radial growth of 0.058 cm per year[citation needed]. It is a canopy species in primary forests. The species is considered unsuitable for large-scale plantations due to slow growth and inadequate seed and seedling supply. Manual selection of trees in natural forests is common.[13][14]

Properties[edit]

The heartwood when cut is coloured light brown to almost bright yellow. During the aging process the heartwood darkens to deep reddish brown, very dark brown or almost black. The sapwood is bright yellow when cut, and darkens slightly. The wood texture is fine and even, with a straight grain or only slightly interlocked. The timber retains a pleasant lemon odour. This odour, along with the woods' natural high lustre, make it prized by cabinet-makers and fine furniture craftsmen.
The wood is dense (0.85 – 1.1 g/cm3)? and texture is moderately fine to fine and even. Also attractive to users is the resistance to insects, bacteria, fungi and marine borers.[12] The wood has anti-bacterial properties (for local medicinal use)[15] Vessels are diffuse-porous, medium-sized and generally evenly distributed, arranged in short radial rows (2-3 vessels). Moderate abundancy of aliform paratracheal parenchyma. Growth rings boundaries are indistinct or absent. Tyloses are often present.[12]
The wood has a radial shrinkage rate of 2–4.5% and a tangential shrinkage rate of tangential 4.5–7.5%. The timber dries slowly, and care is needed to avoid checks and splits.
The wood is famed for its easy working characteristics, despite high density. The wood planes, bores and turns cleanly, producing smooth and often lustrous surfaces. Nailing requires pre-bores prior to nailing. Saw blades and cutting instruments are only moderate blunted during working the timber. Apparently, the wood is difficult to glue with synthetic resins.[12]
Durability: heartwood is rated as very durable – immune to termite attack; service life of up to 100 years in direct soil contact and more than 20 years for marine work in tropical waters has been reported.

Usage[edit]

Due to the excellent resistance to bacterial, fungal, insect and marine borer attack the wood is highly prized for many outdoor uses. Additionally, the wood's high density and easy workability lend it to particularly desirability in maritime structures, dock construction and ship building, especially Indonesia's famous pinisi sail-boat.[16] Common local uses include: House construction, door construction, water butts and troughs, boat building (Pinisi), tools, tool handles, talisman, jewellery, medicinal slivers (for wounds, cuts, abrasions, bites and tooth-ache/infection), bridges, blowpipes and spear shafts.
Internationally, it is renowned for heavy construction such as a buffer between transportation trailers and heavy steel fabrications (such as boilers, pressure vessels, reactors and many others). It is also frequently found in dry docks as a timber to separate the hull of ships from the steel supporting stands. Other uses include use in boats and ships, industrial flooring, roofing (as shingles), fine indoor and outdoor furniture, coffin wood (esteemed by Chinese due to ability to withstand rot and insect attack) and tool handles (especially those exposed to continual high impact (the wood does not splinter and thus injure hands, eyes or endanger the operator on catastrophic failure) such as shovels, axes, block splitters, sledge hammers, heavy mallets, demolition hammers, mattocks, picks, hoes and hammers). Some expert cabinet-makers treasure an ulin-headed carpenter's mallet as an excellent intermediate density hammer face between the usual wood and a metal one and is able to quite easily tap or "whack" stubborn highly polished metal fixtures without damage to the face or the fixture.
Other sources indicate that ulin wood is often used for marine constructions such as pilings, wharfs, docks, sluices, dams, ships, bridges, but also used for power line poles, masts, roof shingles and house posts and to a minor extent as frame, board, heavy duty flooring, railway sleepers, fencing material, furniture etc.

Endangered status[edit]

The decline of this species which was first noted in 1955. Browne (1955) stated: "Our surviving supplies of Belian are by no means very large and undoubtedly dwindling." Population reduction has been noted in the following regions: Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sabah, Sarawak, and the Philippines.[7] IUCN has categorized it Vulnerable A1cd and A2cd.[7] CITES listed II Bi (unsustainable level of exploitation from the wild for international trade).[7] Regeneration in logged-over forests is limited.[15][17]
The species is threatened by over-exploitation, predominantly by illegal migrant loggers. Current demand for the timber is fueled for its esteem among Chinese as a coffin wood (as it is resistant to insect and rot). Included in list of vanishing timber species of the Philippines and considered almost extinct in Sabah. In Java and Sumatra it exists solely in National Parks. Currently the situation is assessed as a serious depletion of stands. The species is only planted on a small scale because the supply of seeds and seedlings is inadequate. The world-famous IPB Bogor Agricultural Institute (Institut Pertanian Bogor) is currently breeding a generation of plants more hardy than the wild harvested seeds [5][15]

Trade[edit]

Indonesia has a total prohibition on export, and cutting is restricted to trees less than 60 cm diameter measured at breast height. In Sarawak, export in any form is not allowed without special permission. Sabah still allows export.

Indigenous beliefs[edit]

Many Dayak believe that the ulin wood acts as a protective talisman to avoid attack from tigers and elephants. The Dayak believe that this use of the ulin talisman and the stands of ulin trees was and is the sole cause of a lack of Sumatran elephants or Sumatran tigers in Kalimantan and Sarawak. The potent 'elephant and tiger repellent' is alleged to be the sap of the tree, which has a strong, pleasant lemon-like odour.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List". 
  2. ^ Irawan, B. (2005). Ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri Teijsm. & Binn.) and its varieties in Jambi, Indonesia. Cuvillier. ISBN 9783865373205. 
  3. ^ a b "Eusideroxylon zwageri". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  4. ^ Eusideroxylon zwageri
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 6, 2009. Retrieved April 6, 2009. |access date 06-04-2009
  6. ^ a b c View crop
  7. ^ a b c d http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/full/31316/0
  8. ^ a b "Pohon Terbesar Dunia Ada di Indonesia (Indonesian language)". March 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ "The World's Largest Tree Ulin There in Indonesia". Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Kartasubrata, J. Research support to community forestry projects on forest land in Java, Indonesia in M.E. Stevens, S. Bhumibhamon & H. Wood, eds. Research policy for community forestry in the Asia-Pacific region. p. 227-236. Proceedings of a seminar. Bangkok, RECOFTC: 1990
  11. ^ "Kutai National Park". Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f Forest Products Laboratory - USDA Forest Service
  13. ^ a b Tantra, G.M. Erosi plasma nutfah nabati : [Erosion of Germplasm phytology], J. Penelitian & Penembangan Pertanian 1983 vol 2(1): 1-5.
  14. ^ de Guzman, E.D. Conservation of vanishing timber species in the Philippines In: Williams, J., Lamourak, C.H. and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, N. (Eds), South-East Asian plant genetic resources; Symposium Proceedings Bogor, Indonesia, March 1975. IBPGR, Bogor; 1975
  15. ^ a b c Soerianegara, I. & Kartawinata, K. Silvicultural management of the logged natural dipterocarp forest in South-east Asia, in J. Davidson, Tho Yow Pong & M. Bijleveld, eds. Future of tropical rainforests in South-east Asia Commission of Ecology Papers, 10. Gland, Switzerland, IUCN: 1983
  16. ^ History of the Indonesian Pinisi
  17. ^ Partomihardjo, T. The ulin wood which is threatened to extinction, Duta Rimba: 1981, 87-88(13): 10-15.

Additional references[edit]

  • Asian Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Viet Nam) 1998. Eusideroxylon zwageri. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 21 August 2007.
  • A. Ajizah, Thihana and Mirhanuddin. 2007. Potensi ekstrak kayu ulin dalam menghambat pertumbuhan bakteria secara in vitro. Banjarmasin, Indonesia.
  • Browne, F.G. Forest trees of Sarawak and Brunei and their products. Government Printing Office, Kuching: 1955

Delmy, A. 2001. Fire resistance of tree species in Bukit Soeharto Education Forest, East kalimantan, Indonesia. In: S. Kobayashi, J.W. Turnbull, T. Toma, T. Mori, N.M.N.A. Majid (eds.) Bogor, Indonesia, CIFOR. 27-34.

  • de Guzman, E.D. Conservation of vanishing timber species in the Philippines In: Williams, J., Lamourak, C.H. and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, N. (Eds), South-East Asian plant genetic resources; Symposium Proceedings Bogor, Indonesia, March 1975. IBPGR, Bogor; 1975
  • Indonesia, Republic of: Badan Perencanaan dan Pembangungan Nasional (Bappenas): Department of Planning and Development: [1]
  • Indonesia, Republic of: Departemen Kehutanan Republik Indonesia [Department of Forestry]: Departemen Perhutanan[2]
  • Indonesia, Republic of: Komisi Nasional Sumber Daya Genetik [National Commission of Genetic Information Resources]: National Phytological Germplasm database: [3]
  • Kartasubrata, J. Tumpangsari method for establishment of teak plantations in Java. Tropical Agricultural Research (Japan): 1979, 12: 141152.
  • Kartasubrata, J. Research support to community forestry projects on forest land in Java, Indonesia in M.E. Stevens, S. Bhumibhamon & H. Wood, eds. Research policy for community forestry in the Asia-Pacific region. p. 227-236. Proceedings of a seminar. Bangkok, RECOFTC: 1990
  • Kartawinata, K. Silvicultural management of the logged natural dipterocarp forest in South-east Asia, in J. Davidson, Tho Yow Pong & M. Bijleveld, eds. Future of tropical rainforests in South-east Asia Commission of Ecology Papers, 10. Gland, Switzerland, IUCN: 1983
  • Kartawinata, K., Adisoemarto, S., Riswan, S. and Vayda, A.P. The impact of man on a tropical forest in Indonesia. Ambio: 1981 vol 10(2-3): 115-119
  • Kartasubrata, J. 1991. Planning and implementation aspects based on some successful agroforestry projects in Indonesia. In W. Mellink Y.S. Rao & K.G. MacDicken, eds. Agroforestry in Asia and the Pacific, p. 232-250. RAPA Publication 1991/5. Bangkok, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development. * Kasten Marine [4]
  • H. Kurokawa, T. Yoshida, T. Nakamura, J. Lai and T. Nakashizuka. 2001. The age of tropical rain-forest canopy species, Borneo ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri ), determined by 14C dating. Journal of Tropical Ecology 19:1–7. Cambridge University Press
  • H.G. Richter and M.J. Dallwitz. 2000 onwards. Commercial timbers: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 16 April 2006 [5]
  • Partomihardjo, T. The ulin wood which is threatened to extinction, Duta Rimba: 1981, 87-88(13): 10-15.
  • Peluso, N.L. The Ironwood Problem: (Mis)Management and Development of an Extractive Rainforest Product. Conservation Biology 1992 Vol. 6, No. 2: 210-219
  • Soerianegara, I. & Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Eds.) Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA) 5(1) Timber trees: major commercial timbers Pudoc Scientific Publishers: 1993, Wageningen
  • Soerianegara, I. Ecological researches relevant to current silvicultural problems Rimba 1973, Indonesia, 17: 133- 142.
  • Soerianegara, I. Forest tree improvement in Indonesia, In R. Toda, ed. Forest tree breeding in the worldTokyo, Government Forest Experiment Station: 1974, p. 146-153.
  • Soerianegara, I. & Kartawinata, K. Silvicultural management of the logged natural dipterocarp forest in South-east Asia, in J. Davidson, Tho Yow Pong & M. Bijleveld, eds. Future of tropical rainforests in South-east Asia Commission of Ecology Papers, 10. Gland, Switzerland, IUCN: 1983
  • Suselo, T.B. Autecology of E. zwageri T. & B. (Lauraceae) as applied to forest regeneration, In: Proceeds of Symposium: Forest Regeneration in South East Asia, Biotrop Special Publication No. 25 BIOTROP, Bogor.: 1987
  • Tantra, G.M. Erosi plasma nutfah nabati : [Erosion of Germplasm phytology], J. Penelitian & Penembangan Pertanian 1983 vol 2(1): 1-5.
  • UNEP and WCMC. Strategies for sustainable use and management of timber tree species subject to international trade in Southeast Asia, UNEP: 2007
  • USDA Forest Service [6], accessed April 4, 2008

External links[edit]