Camphor Laurel

Cinnamomum Camphora

The Subtle Saboteur: Identifying and Eradicating Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum Camphora)


Camphor Laurel, or Cinnamomum camphora, is a tree native to Asia that has found its way into various parts of Australia, including the Nambucca Valley. What may seem like a benign or even attractive tree is, in fact, a serious invasive species with the power to displace native flora and disrupt local ecosystems.

Identification Guide

Key Features

Glossy, waxy leaves that are elliptical or oval in shape
Strong camphor smell when leaves are crushed
Small white flowers and berry-like fruit


Can be confused with some native laurels; the camphor smell when leaves are crushed is a clear identifier.


This invasive tree can adapt to a variety of environments but is most commonly found along waterways, open fields, and disturbed lands.

Impact on Local Ecosystem

  • Flora: Displaces native trees and vegetation by outcompeting them for resources.
  • Fauna: Its leaves and berries can be toxic to some native animals.
  • Economic: Control and removal can be both time-consuming and costly for local landholders.

Removal Methods

  • Mechanical: Small trees can be hand-pulled, but larger specimens require machinery.
  • Chemical: Herbicides like triclopyr can be effective, although they must be applied with care.

Safety Precautions

Wear gloves and safety goggles, especially when using chemical treatments.
Keep pets and children away from the area during removal.


Removed trees should be securely bagged and taken to a designated disposal facility to prevent regrowth from cuttings or seeds.


Regularly check your property, especially near waterways or disturbed areas.
Consider planting native species that can compete with Camphor Laurel.

Collaborative Efforts

Local conservation organisations and government bodies often run removal programs focused on invasive species, including Camphor Laurel. These programs can provide valuable experience and resources.


Camphor Laurel is more than just a fragrant tree; it's an environmental issue that needs our attention. Proper identification and prompt action are essential steps in controlling this invasive species in the Nambucca Valley.

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