Hardiness: USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Pale Green Inconspicuous/none
Bloom Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Evergreen Aromatic Shiny/Glossy-Textured
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From semi-hardwood cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible
I'm trying to gather as many bay laurel nuts as I can find because I love to eat them, but this seems to have been an off year for bay laurel nut production. Is anyone aware of any trees that bore well this year that I might be able to gather from? Are there nuts on the tree, or maybe on the ground now? Thanks!
On Oct 29, 2010, Oakland58 from Oakland, CA wrote:
I have 3 huge multitrunked Umbellularia californica on my lot and one massive single trunked tree that measures over 10' in circumfrance and is over 110' tall. These are all part of a very unique native plant community that blankets canyons and creeks in the East Bay foothills. In many areas there are acres and acres of unbroken evergreen cover made up of this species and Quercus Agrifolia - the Coast Live Oak. Umbellularia is messy - big leaf drops, messy olive like fruits, and a tendancy to collect dust and pollution on the sticky leaves turning them black. The smells are extraordinary and the wildlife habitat they create are supurb. I actually pull up at least 30 newly sprouted trees every year from my 1 acre city lot. A keeper.
On Jan 2, 2008, cgarvin from Cottage Grove, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
these are very beautiful trees with a wonderful scent, new foliage in spring opens in a nice red tint. You may want seed from known cold hardy stands if you live in a zone on the edge. This is also fairly easy from seed as long as it is very fresh. once dried out germination drops dramatically.
On Mar 13, 2006, growin from Vancouver, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:
There is a large tree in my area with several smaller plants. They make large wide/round evergreen shrubby trees with nice form. Seed drop can be a little messy but easily cleaned. I haven't had much difficulty starting from seed once scarified.
On Mar 13, 2006, 4paws from Citra, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
We have many of these trees on our acre in zone 9b and I love them, especially the fact that they are evergreen. Some are very large. I haven't noticed the messy problems noted by a previous writer. We've had to cut two or three down, and from the stumps have come shrubs. There are many babies around, so I'm planning to try to use some as a property border/privacy screen by keeping them pruned.
On Mar 11, 2005, claudia483 from Santa Rosa, CA wrote:
My Bays are old. I would like to find out just how old.
The circumfrnce is approx 5 feet plus
They are very messy, lots of leaves and a mold, fungus,
that coats everything in the winter. The deck and patio furniture have to be power washed each spring. I respect their age but others in the family grow weary of the mess.
The fragrance is wonderful, and for me offsets any negatives.
On Feb 22, 2005, catguy from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
My 12 year old bay tree started as a one gallon stick and is now a beautiful 6 foot perfectly shaped, 3 trunk tree. It is growing in a planterbox underneath a mesquite tree so never gets full sun, but dappled sun all day.
On Aug 17, 2004, deborahgrand from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:
Mine has grown from a 6" potted plant, and is now a 6' tree. It is a little leggy, but may have been from being rootbound for a while. Actually, in BR, La, it does better with part shade -- otherwise, dries out too much and leaves get "sunburned" looking.
I do have a neighbor who has had success with air layering his -- took about 3 months for roots to form, but they really took off once the roots started.
Bay Laurels (also called Mountain Laurels or simply Bay trees) start out as herbs. They grow slowly and can be pruned and used as hedges, but put in the ground and allowed to grow they will become tall trees. To keep them small, simply pot them rather than planting them in your yard. Their fragrant leaves are useful in cooking to flavor foods, but you should NOT eat the actual leaves, which may be too sharp for your throat and can harm your mouth (though they are not dangerous to handle). Their aroma naturally repels bugs such as mosquitos and cockroaches. To bring the bug-repellant properties indoors, add dried Bay leaves to your potpourri. This is simply a beautiful and very useful evergreen.
I live in zone 9a and have a Bay Laurel potted in a large pot on my patio. All it needs is full sun and careful watering (I use a tiny bit of fertilizer with my water because my Bay is in a pot and can't get nutrients from the ground. When watering, put your finget two inches in the soil--if it feels wet, do NOT water it. Otherwise, water sufficiently). This will reward you with new growth in an easy-to-see light green (leaves darken as they mature, as with many plants such as gardenias and English Ivy). Other than watering and occasionally checking for weeds in the soil, Bays are pretty happy if just left in the sun. In the ground, their roots may be close to the top of the soil, so be very careful when planting close to the tree so you don't harm the Bay's roots.
One word of warning: though you may propagate this plant through seeds and cuttings, it is VERY difficult to do so and propagation has a high failure rate. Successful stem cuttings can take up to nine months to begin developing roots. Your best bet is to buy a healthy Bay from a reputable nursery.
This tree's fruit can be eaten when ripe. The seeds can be roasted and eaten as well. It has been used for centuries for its many healing qualities as well as spicing up unique dishes. Walking through these trees in the wild is a must, and camping even better.
On Oct 27, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
This is the only species for this genus.The leaves are so aromatic that inhaling their scent may cause a headache. But this herb is traditionally used as a remedy for headaches by infusions or the leaves placed on the forehead. Leaves can also be used as an insect repellent. These trees may require winter protection when young.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Phoenix, Arizona Sierra Vista Southeast, Arizona , British Columbia Calistoga, California Carlotta, California Chico, California Davis, California East Palo Alto, California Elk Grove, California Fairfield, California Hayward, California Hoopa, California Lake Nacimiento, California Las Flores, California Los Angeles, California Oakland, California Paradise, California Santa Rosa, California (2 reports) Simi Valley, California Deerfield Beach, Florida Fountain, Florida Summerfield, Florida Honomu, Hawaii Baton Rouge, Louisiana Kenner, Louisiana Ashland, Oregon Bunker Hill, Oregon Corvallis, Oregon Cottage Grove, Oregon Creswell, Oregon Salem, Oregon East Sumter, South Carolina Aldine, Texas Cameron Park, Texas Dallas, Texas Houston, Texas (2 reports)