CNPS Forums  

Go Back   CNPS Forums > CNPS Public Forums > Growing Natives Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-25-2000, 02:16 PM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default What about the California Laurel tree? Umbellularia califor

Does anyone have any experience in growing this tree--and where can I get one? How long does it take to reach 40ft? Is it too messy to plant next to a lawn? Are the leaves poisonous? What are the benefits to the southern calif. environment? Any insight would be appreciated.</p>
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-26-2000, 12:40 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What about the California Laurel tree? Umbellularia cal

Laura - I have seen groves of this species where the trees were forty feet plus. The trunks were from sticks to 24 inches. Umbellaria usually prefers moister, cooler habitats such as north facing slopes and drainages. As for obtaining seedlings, try contacting your local Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management. They may issue you a collecting permit to dig up a seedling or two once you have explained what they are for. Of course I could be wrong. News from Native California occassionally lists native plant nurseries in its classified section. On the Internet, type Dremann into your search engine. It should bring you to a site by Craig Dremann called the reveg edge, plus a few more. it does take a while for umbellaria to reach tree stature, but in a yard with water and fertilizer it may not take that long. Good Luck. Ben

</p>
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-26-2000, 09:34 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What about the California Laurel tree? Umbellularia cal

I don't know that I can give you a definitive answer, but I can tell you about my experience growing Umbellularia. I planted a 1 gallon bay tree in my yard about 3 feet tall here in Northern California Davis 6 years ago. It's now about 10-12' tall, and maybe 5-6' wide. I think its natural tendency to spread would cause it to be wider, except that it has shrubs of equal size around it. I don't really have room in my yard for my tree to become a monster 90' tall and as wide, as you sometimes see in the wild, so I've attempted to regulate its growth by watering sparingly and not fertilizing at all. The only time I do water is when the leaves take on a dull appearance and begin to drop in large numbers. Here in Davis, this has translated into deep-watering 2-3 times during the dry season. We have soil with a fair amount of organic matter and moderate to high clay content. So, I would think that it's going to take quite a number of years to reach 40', especially as you approach the Southern end of its range, where you live. If you are trying to get it to grow faster, then liberal watering should help, but it seems to be relatively slow-growing even in ideal conditions. As far as being messy, it does produce a fair number of fruits each year, and this could be something of a problem on a lawn, as they have a stony interior. Eventually, the greater problem would probably be that a California bay would cast too much shade for the lawn to survive underneath it. This problem might be solved by judicious pruning of the lower branches or by getting rid of the lawn!. As far as the leaves being poisonous, you often hear them being recommended as a substitute in cooking for Laurus nobilis the bay tree from Europe leaves. We've used them Umbellularia californica leaves many times in pasta sauce without suffering any obvious damage. I do have a book that describes the leaves as emitting a 'poisonous vapor' that causes some people to experience headaches and nausea, but I actually love the smell the leaves give off. In my yard Umbellularia has been well-mannered and effective in screening a nearby house. If it ever grew to the size it sometimes does in nature, it would be too large for my yard. But the cultivated trees in our area that I've seen tend to max-out at 30-40'. If it ever did get out of hand, you could always cut it way back, as Joe Willingham said, and let it regrow from the base. As far as finding a source, you might contact your local CNPS chapter and ask them. It seems to be fairly widely grown; you shouldn't have to go digging up wild areas to find one. If you wanted to make sure your tree was from a local source, you could collect the seed from nearby trees.</p>
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-26-2000, 03:47 PM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What about the California Laurel tree? Umbellularia cal

Thanks Chris for your info. You may have steered me in a much better direction. Do you like using the umbellularia californica as more of a large shrub, in order to screen out your neighbors. Or would you have preferred other native shrubs for this purpose? Thanks for addressing the 'poisonous vapors' issue. Every book indicates this, yet I spoke with another person who said they too use the leaves in their soup. I still like this tree because of it's shiny leaves and its symbolic representation of laurel. What do you think is the best kind of use for it? Could it ever grow indoors with a large skylight over it? Thanks so much, laura</p>
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-26-2000, 03:57 PM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What about the California Laurel tree? Umbellularia cal

Ben--your amazing. You just keep coming up with all this great info! I really, really appreciate it! It sounds like your more in favor of oaks than umbellularia for my native Santa Monica yard.Although--do you think they would be good together in the same yard? Any other native tree suggestions, please let me know. Does any kind of Eucalyptus contribute to the native environment here by now. I see them everywhere. Thanks, laura
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-26-2000, 04:03 PM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What about the California Laurel tree? Umbellularia cal

Chris--I accidentally replied to your message at the post entititled: What about the California Laurel tree, umbellularia californica Please open that post so you can read my reply. thanks.</p>
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-28-2000, 09:06 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What about the California Laurel tree? Umbellularia cal

Yes I like Oaks. I do like bays too. I recently visited with a new friend in Fairfax that has a very nice array of oaks and bays. She has a very beautiful elderberry 'tree' in her front yard. I appreciate your efforts to maintain a native yard. Ben</p>
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-04-2000, 04:52 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: What about the California Laurel tree? Umbellularia cal

Sorry for such a late post but I have been away from the computer.Many California native trees and shrubs would not be happy in or near a well watered lawn. Possibly stream-side plants such as willows & poplars.</p>
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2005-2009, California Native Plant Society, All rights reserved.