Belian is the standard local name in Malaysia for the Botanical
Tree called EUSIDEROXYLON ZWAGERI and it’s also commonly known as
the Ironwood of Borneo. This heavy hardwood comes from the family
of LUARACEAE and the distribution of it occurs in Sabah and Sarawak
throughout the lowlands particularly on low-lying alluvial
Belian trees may reach a height of 100ft with trunk diameters of
exploitable trees up to 36” (90cm). This durable sinker wood
seasons slowly becoming black with age and according to the book
“The Prehistory of Sabah” by Tom & Barbara Harrison, it is said
that “in the open, in this climate(tropical), only the hardest
wood, such as belian, lasts more than a century, never two.” The
hardwood is rated as very durable with a service life of 50-100
years in ground contact being reported immune to termite attacks. A
service life of 20 years and more for marine work in tropical
waters is reported. Belian is normally used for heavy construction,
marine work, boatbuilding, piling, printing blocks, specialty
furniture, industrial flooring, roofing shingles and tool handles.
This wood has a tendency for checking and splitting but with due
care, this problem may be rectified easily.
The general characteristics for belian may be described as
having heartwood that is light brown to almost bright yellow in
color when freshly cut, darkens on exposure to a deep reddish
brown or very dark brown or almost black. The sapwood is bright
yellow in color and it also darkens on exposure, sharply defined.
The texture is find and even, grain is straight or only slightly
interlocked somewhat lustrous and it has a lemon-like odor that
persists with no marked taste.
A closer look at it from the microscopic view would see that
vessels are medium sized and generally evenly distributed. While
mostly solitary, some are in groups of 2-3 with a slight tendency
to arrange in oblique lines. Tyloses are abundant. The wood
parenchyma is moderately abundant with paratracheal parenchyma
predominating, vasicentric to aliform and confluent. An occasional
narrow band of apotracheal terminal parenchyma occurs and finally,
the rays are fine.
Pieces of recycled Belian Wood aiming for the Green Label (i.e.)
International Trademark For Conservation is created out of love for
the Environment and Human Life. Saving the resources that is going
to be depleted and that will take lots of time to replace.
Educating the public on conservation and telling them about the
beautiful and quality things that can be created from manufacturing
old shingles, houses, staircases etc. picking up wood/driftwood
that is carved by nature will come naturally.
Indeed there are one hundred and one thing that one can do to
conserve the nature. It was given to us centuries ago and it seems
to wither with time. Save our Rainforest. You will see and feel a
whole lot of difference in a land full of greens.
The outcome is a 90-95% local inputs in terms of raw materials,
labor and certainly will qualifies as made in Sarawak products.
Belian PESUT (Dolphins)
Sarawak's very own Irrawaddy Dolphins known locally as "Pesut",
this rare mammals can be spotted in close proximity around the
Carved from a piece of discarded wooden belian shingle from a
construction site in Kuching, Sarawak, this belian wood originally
located at Balai Ringin between Serian and Sri Aman, home for a lot
of belian trees.
Heart, tree, hornbill, cross and all the other belian made
products not mentioned are carved from shingles found in the same
location as Belian PESUT.