Cinnamomum camphora

Camphor laurel

Family: Lauraceae

Origin: Asia

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Not a legally declared pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Large evergreen tree < 30 m tall. Leaves are < 10 x 5 cm, glossy and smell of camphor when crushed. Flowers are minute, white and borne in clusters in spring. Fruits are round drupes 8-10 mm in diameter and green ripening to black.

What you need to know

Although camphor laurel is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.

Habitats

Forest, scrubland, riparian margins, pasture, disturbed habitats, roadsides, fencerows.

Dispersal

Seeds dispersed by birds and water. Vegetative spread from suckering. Human-mediated dispersal through deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Forms dense stands, outcompeting and displacing native plants and suppressing native regeneration.

Control

Site management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.

Biocontrol

Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel.

Basic Growsafe certified: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 1g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Drill and inject trees with 10g metsulfuron-methyl per 1L of water if safe to do so. Drill 18mm holes (tangentially angled downwards) in a spiral up the trunk.

For 50mm stems drill one hole. For 100mm stems drill two holes. For larger stems drill holes 150mm apart. Foliar spray seedlings with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

Safety notes

Large trees must not be drilled or ringbarked that are closer than 1.5 times the height of the tree from paths, walkways and property.

Trees over 4 metres in height should be removed by a qualified arborist.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

A short bush of camphor laurel with large leaves.
Camphor is a evergreen tree up to 30m high, with a dense and spreading canopy.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
A tall camphor laurel tree with browning leaves at the bottom.
Forms dense monoculture stands where no other plants can grow.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
A hand holding the small red seeds of the camphor laurel.
Fruit is round and 8-10mm in diameter, containing a single seed 5mm in diameter.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow