Camphor laurels - dispersion in Victoria

An ecologist's prediction by the Camphor laurel Research Centre, in 1999 was proved 'exact' in the same year (hot summer/s of 1999-2000), since official botanical records of the Victorian Herbarium note the invasive spread of Camphor laurel seedlings up-through grassland paddocks of the Nicholson River floodplain, in Gippsland-VIC. Prior to 1999, as in New South Wales' Northern Tablelands', it was widely believed that the semi-tropical Camphor laurel species would not seed in cold-winter regions; but this is proved untrue by some botanical textbooks citing South Korea as part of the centre of speciation for the species - an unquoted fact by Botanic Gardens throughout Australia!

Whether simple wind-pollination can/is sufficient, or small beetles and moths are required for Camphor laurel cross-fertilisation in cool/cold climates is unknown.

Tree spread by suckering from 'mother trees, especially where damaged or intensively pruned has been observed in Melbourne suburbs, and bird observers state that Currawong is by far the biggest consumer/mover of the fruit and seed/s; since Melbourne temperatures can and do increasingly reach 40 degrees-C in summer, the future chance of wide, invasive-spread of this toxic tree species is quite high; Ringtail possums are already known to have died or disappeared in significant numbers from inner suburbs where they commenced eating (green?/unripe) Camphor berries from the summer of 1999. (NB:this observation is corroborated by inner Brisbane suburb obs. of dead Ringtails').

By far the biggest problem for Victoria in the future is the control, by replacement of thousands of advanced seedling Camphor' trees, imported on-request by wholesalers of the Melbourne nursery industry, in the difficult economic times of the late 1980s-1990s, by seed-collectors in and near Mullumbimby-NSW, selecting Camphor' seed/berry from the 'easiest to-collect' trees - being the highest-yielding Camphor trees; which, from a floristic examination of known Lismore 'bird killer trees' reveals that the most-toxic known Camphors' are now widely planted in Melbourne suburbs, and streets.

This is indeed a very serious ecological situation-to now have to be all replaced by/with native species - including the most beautiful, suited native-Laurel species growing in the Melbourne Botanic gardens.