Camphor laurel as a Weed in Australia

This species only became fully recognised as a weed, and then a serious weed around the early 1980s, with the full advent of the Bush Regeneration movement (see Buchanan , Bush Regeneration, 1981). The species went unmentioned by Lamp and Collet (1976) in A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia, yet by 1997 Wilson recognised all parts of the tree species as being "extremely toxic".

Its historical recognition as a weed.

When camphor laurel trees were first reliably recognised as a significant weed species (The Northern Star, Lismore, 1900) the roadside and other infestations were not just said to be another weed, but an invasive weed of otherwise useful grazing land, since livestock will only browse the young trees; as camphor trees grow past two or three years of age, especially those intertwined or partly protected by cattle fencing and barbed wire (from which birds usually deposited their seed/s), livestock become less and less interested in browsing the trees.

Noxious Declaration Covered 'All Shires' of Northern Rivers - late 1998

The NSW Government published the declaration of noxiousness in the NSW Government Gazette of 06 August 1998, to cover "all Shires in the Northern Rivers Region" of this state; only political pressure caused the revocation of this principled Declaration, just over one year later, for Tweed, and Byron Shires, plus half of Ballina. This was the histodical result of a number of key environmentalist-concerned 'hippies' never having allowed weed authorities to enter their properties, and the known overuse of certain toxic weedicides in and near newly established communities after the Aquarius Festival ca.1975.

Camphor and livestock

Dairy cattle eating camphor leaves, and/or whole young seedlings, can produce tainted milk, especially in extended dry or drought periods, as oil contents of leaf and branches increase and the combined percentage contents of camphor and safrole in the diet reach very high levels. Survey inspections of fence line camphor trees between Lismore and Corndale confirm that these are highly repellent chemotypes of the trees, which no livestock will ever touch or browse. See also BIRDS for a detailed report on the proven Sterility of various poultry, and wild native bird species.

Camphor and Bees

The best example of Camphor's profound repellent capability against insects is depicted by Bee Species in northern New South Wales. A survey of Apiarist Bee Keepers in the Lismore/Ballina districts revealed that not only do:
1. European Honeybees not attend flowers of Camphor trees in springtime, at either full or partial inflorescence;
2. Native Honeybees(one or two species), once prolific in the Northern Rivers Region as stated by long- standing Apiarists to be so rare, that the only known nesting colonies remaining active in the wild at Evans Head, south of Ballina and near Ocean Shores, both in non - Camphor infested districts.