Black Wood of Sulawesi, an Exotic Wood of Fantastic Value Threatened with Extinction - Kistang
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Black Wood of Sulawesi, an Exotic Wood of Fantastic Value Threatened with Extinction

Kistang - Jakarta, August 31, 2023 , The black wood of Sulawesi, also known as ebony wood, is one of the wood types renowned for its high value. This wood only grows in the Sulawesi region and is commonly used for building construction and interior ornaments.

Ebony wood is a native Indonesian wood known for its exotic black color. Additionally, it boasts exceptional quality, making it a popular choice for crafting furniture, musical instruments, and other crafts.

Ebony wood furniture stands as a luxury item highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts of high-quality furnishings. This demand is largely due to the exorbitant price of ebony wood, which can reach up to Rp30 million per cubic meter in the international market.

So, why is ebony wood furniture so expensive? Here are a few reasons:

1. Rare and Hard to Find

Ebony wood is a rare and elusive type of wood. This rarity stems from the fact that ebony trees only grow in certain areas of Indonesia, primarily Sulawesi. Moreover, these trees have slow growth rates, requiring a significant amount of time before they can be harvested.

2. Excellent Quality

Ebony wood possesses exceptional quality, making it ideal for crafting furniture. It features a deep black color, a smooth texture, and organized grain patterns. Furthermore, ebony wood is incredibly strong and durable.

3. Symbol of Economic Status

In several countries, ebony wood furniture is considered a symbol of economic status due to its high price. Consequently, it often becomes the preferred choice for collectors and individuals aiming to showcase their social status.

Despite its steep price, ebony wood furniture remains a sought-after item due to its outstanding quality and potential as a long-term investment.

Morphology and Characteristics

Black wood originates from the ebony tree, characterized by:

- A straight and upright trunk that can reach 40 meters in height and 1 meter in diameter.

- Dark brown, peeling bark.

- Elongated, pointed leaves that are dark green on top and grayish-green on the underside.

- Clusters of white flowers.

- Egg-shaped fruit that turns reddish-yellow to brown when mature.

Habitat and Conservation Status

The ebony tree is an endemic plant in Sulawesi, primarily found in South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, and Gorontalo. It's also cultivated in Kalimantan and exported to various countries, including Japan and European nations.

The ebony tree population faces the threat of extinction due to high exploitation rates. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized ebony wood as vulnerable, indicating it's on the brink of extinction.

Price and Utilization

Given its high quality, the price of black wood is incredibly high. A cubic meter of black wood can fetch up to 30 million rupiahs in the international wood market. In Indonesia, the selling price of Sulawesi ebony wood ranges between 6 to 10 million rupiahs per cubic meter.

With excellent strength and durability, black wood is commonly used in crafting furniture, building construction, sculptures, musical instruments like pianos, and various forms of art.

Conservation Efforts

To address the rising demand for black wood, ebony tree cultivation efforts are being implemented in Sulawesi. Programs such as replanting aim to increase the number of ebony trees.

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