About Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum Camphora)
Camphor Laurel is a large evergreen tree that was introduced to Australia from South East Asia, in the early 1800’s.
As widespread clearing of land made way for farming, it was later realized that shade was needed for stock so Camphor Laurel was planted because of its prolific growth. It was also commonly planted in school yards for its wonderful shade property. A comprehensive wood property report on Camphor Laurel can be viewed at www.privateforestry.org.au
The Camphor Laurel species here has now developed into somewhat of a hybrid creating magnificent grain and color.
The species is an invasive woody weed capable of aggressively replacing native trees along watercourses and on soil types which formerly supported rainforests. see further information at the NSW Department of Primary Industries. www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/forests
The infestation and spread of Camphor Laurel is aided by birds dispersing the seed and its spread is particularly prevalent in disturbed landscapes, thereby contributing to soil erosion and the demise of native Flora and Fauna.
Camphor Laurel has long been recognized as a serious environmental weed species in Australia, and control programs advocate integrated removal and replacement with native trees. See info at the department of natural resources and water www.nrw.qld.gov.au and the National Association of Forest Industries www.nafi.com.au
Salvaging of Camphor Laurel provides a good source of ethically acceptable timber. The timber is highly prized by wood turners and furniture makers.
Camphor Laurel has also, long been recognized for its unique anti-bacterial properties, making it an ideal surface for food preparation. University testing has proven it be far superior to plastic, glass, and other timbers.
The following is an extract of the study
Mean number of organisms per board from testing
Organism Type of board
Camphor Laurel Cedar Plastic Glass
Fungi 3.3 8.0 9.7 5.7
Bacteria 0.7 1.7 7.3 8.0
TOTAL 4.0 9.7 17.0 13.7
Tests carried out by Alan Waterson B.Sc. (Hons) Dip Ed.
Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW. April 2002 (copyright)