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, billian, or ulin. It is a slow growing tree with an average 0.5 centimeters per year.
The decline of this species which was first noted in 1955. Browne (1955) stated: “Our surviving supplies of Ulin 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. IUCN has categorized it Vulnerable A1cd and A2cd. CITES listed II Bi (unsustainable level of exploitation from the wild for international trade). Regeneration in logged-over forests is limited.
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 (Insitut Pertanian Bogor) is currently breeding a generation of plants more hardy than the wild harvested seeds.
Ulin is an endangered species and buying new Ulin (as you can often find even here in Bali!) or so called “reclaim Ulin” without any prove of its sustainability and how it was replaced is participating in the depleting of Indonesia’s forest and bringing Ulin always closer to extinction.
Some extracts from wikipedia.