Bay Laurel Tree Grows in Vancouver Area?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by DavidB52, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. DavidB52

    DavidB52 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B.C.
    I visit local nurseries often and a few of their tree offerings caught my eye: Olive trees and Bay Laurel trees.

    I don't trust an Olive tree in Vancouver's climate: it might survive a couple years and then be killed off by an especially cold winter. Or excessive rain.

    But I think a Bay Laurel tree might be a little hardier, and it tickles my fancy to grow my own Bay leaves for cooking.

    Anybody in these forums had any luck growing a Bay Laurel tree for more than a few years (outside, in the ground?)
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,385
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I have a good size tree growing in ground in Sechelt. It's about 4 metres, but would be a lot bigger if not pruned. It's getting ready to flower soon. There is one at UBCBG in the physic garden. Both of these have been growing at least 10 years. The one at UBC does seem to get a bit damaged by the cold at times. My plant in Sechelt has never shown any winter damage. I have way more leaves than I can ever use or give away.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    7,653
    Likes Received:
    505
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Here's one in a front yard in Vancouver, on 2nd east of Commercial. The photo is from four years ago.
    Laurus-nobilis-female_1777E2ndCommercial_Cutler_20160414_P1220310.JPG
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    19,953
    Likes Received:
    228
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    One in Seattle was 48 1/2 ft. tall in ~2005.
     
  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    further to Eric input - above - i have a great supply of fragrant excellent bay leaves every year from someone on the Sunshine Coast too (I am confirming for sure that they grow on the mild parts of the coast)
     
  6. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    228
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    I had one in Burnaby planted in the ground near the south wall of our house. It grew for about 10 years to about 7 feet before being killed to the root one particularly cold winter. It did grow back however. If you are worried about losing it, you could grow it in a container for many years and bring it in during the winter.
     
  7. Louis A

    Louis A New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Fraser Valley
    I have grown bah laurel in a sheltered abbotsford garden for over a decade. I keep mine pruned back to a rounded shrub. During the coldest winter there’s some superficial damage to leaves. It’s really much harder than people think.

    additionally, olives, particularly once they put on some size, are quite hardy. I have been growing arbequina in the front yard for years. It’s easily 10 ft tall and quite full. Again, in the coldest winters there is some shedding of leaves, but it’s quick to recover come warmer weather. I do not protect either trees.
     
  8. Louis A

    Louis A New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Fraser Valley
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Wow that’s impressive Louis A

    Abbotsford can get really hot or really cold and windy

    QUESTION - do you harvest olives fr your shrub/tree? For human consumption.
     
  10. Louis A

    Louis A New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Fraser Valley
    I have harvested small handfuls of olives so far. I also have frantoio and universal that are only one year old plants. I’m hoping to get a good harvest. You’re right about the heat and extra cold. Typically speaking we are about 2 degrees Celsius colder during the worst of the weather. However, come spring through fall, the temps can soar whenever the sun comes out. One big factor in Abbotsford is location. Sumas mountain really impacts local microclimates. Additionally, there’s a large range of elevation throughout Abbotsford. Being above sea level with a slope for drainage of colder air, and on the west side of Sumas mountain dramatically alters growing conditions. If you’re anywhere south of highway 1 I don’t think olives stand much of a chance in Abbotsford - unless planted on the south or south west side of a home.

    B1BDCB62-DF91-49CA-8DFD-A1403F5A34F5.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2020
  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Yes looking on topo map it is almost like Vedder and Lehman and Sumas Mountains would have been islands at some point

    I wonder if caper would grow in your garden .... the bush that fruits caper berries.
     
  12. Louis A

    Louis A New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Fraser Valley
    I’ve never thought to try capers!
     
  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Caper - Capparis spinosa

    Now I am curious too

    Maybe in the Okanagan or on your well draining Sumas mtn slope

    (Can’t you tell we have all been shopping in the back of our pantries and coming up w inspired recipes!)

    BTW - speaking of Mediterranean foods, my most successful Rosemary is called Arp. I have to grow it in container due to shade and cold winter wind at coast.
     
  14. Louis A

    Louis A New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Fraser Valley
    Arp is a great rosemary! I have Madelines Hill Hardy and it takes winter with stride. I also have one called “goriza” from xera plants in portland that survived in a 4 inch pot. So it seems like a winner.
     

Share This Page