Letters-to-the-Editor: Camphors should go

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This letter is written in response to the hysterical members of the Bellingen community who are against the removal of the Camphor Laurel trees on Church Street.

I am most definitely for their removal. Camphor Laurel was introduced to Australia in 1822, and in that time it has become an invasive noxious weed. It does not belong here.

Each mature tree can produce thousands of seeds every year and they are spread by our own native birds. The sooner they are removed, the better. This way they can be replaced with something new, and hopefully something friendlier to our local street space. 

It has a tendency to form single species communities and exclude most other tree species, including desirable native vegetation.

It has a competitive advantage over native vegetation because it establishes easily.

It has a very dense, shallow root system which, when accompanied by the shading provided by the canopy, suppresses the regeneration of native seedlings.

It can destabilise stream banks due to undercutting by the shallow root system and the general lack of ground cover species around the trees to hold the soil in place.

Invasion of agricultural lands by camphor laurel can cause significant impacts on productivity and the costs of control can reduce the viability of some agricultural pursuits.

What I want to know is, do these hysterical members of our community want to see all of our Forests, rivers, and streams overtaken by Camphor Laurel? Do they want our waterways poisoned by their leaves? Keep in mind that every part of the Camphor tree is toxic. All parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause nausea, vomiting and respiratory distress. Allergic skin reactions can also occur.

I would much rather these toxic trees are removed from our streets as soon as possible, so you may just find somebody in the street in the middle of the night, round up and drill in hand, ready to poison this toxic, destructive weed. Because that's all Camphor trees are: Weeds.

Get to it Council!

Felix Dollmann, Bellingen

For and against: The camphor debate continues.

For and against: The camphor debate continues.


I give my total support to the removal of the camphor laurels in Hyde Street.

Camphor laurel is a declared noxious weed in the Bellingen Shire and as such "the growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread and the plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed".

For reasons why it is a noxious weed visit the NSW DPI Weedwise website.

By removing the camphor laurels in Hyde Street council is fulfilling its legal obligations. It will also remove a major seedbank from the area so that responsible landholders and bush regenerators will have the enthusiasm to continue their fight against this invasive, toxic weed.

Maida Dall, Urunga