The Camphor Tree is a large, evergreen tree with glossy, dark green leaves. The leaves have waxy margins and are on long, slender stalks. The twigs are smooth and green and the bark is light brown. Leaves start out a rusty red, but soon turn dark green with three yellow veins. The leaves are paler underneath and darker on top. It has small, fragrant flowers in the spring and shiny, black fruits in the autumn and winter. The leaves and twigs have a spicy, aromatic scent. This tree is the original source of camphor that is used in medicine and all parts of the tree have a strong, spicy, camphor scent. The Camphor Tree is easy to grow in subtropical and tropical climates. It has a fast growth rate and it can form a large tree with a thick trunk. It is native to mesic forests of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. It likes to grow in fertile sandy soil with a pH level of between 4.3 and 8. Camphor tree growing is best in full sun or partial shade. Camphor tree uses include planting as a shade tree or windbreak. Its long roots make it very resilient to storms and wind. The tree is grown commercially in China and Japan for its oil that is used for medicinal purposes. Camphor oil has been used to treat conditions from parasitic infections to toothaches, and the plant chemicals have value in antiseptics. Other camphor tree uses involve its attractive red and yellow striped wood. It is good for woodworking, and repelling insects. Camphor is also used in perfumes.
The camphor tree has a fast growth rate and is easy to grow. It prefers fertile, sandy soil and full sun or part shade. It grows well in soils with a pH of 4.3-8. The young plants should be planted in rich, well-drained soil and watered regularly.
- Soak the seed in water for 24 hours.
- Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite.
- Put the mixture in a pot with drainage holes in the base.
- Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds and keep the soil moist but not wet.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.