camphor tree

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Clarence Sihoe, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Clarence Sihoe

    Clarence Sihoe Member

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    Location:
    Richmond, B. C. Canada
    The City of Richmond, B. C. has two sister cities in other parts of the world. One of these cities is Wakayama City, located in Wakayma Prefecture in south-central Honshu, Japan.

    The Parks Department is playing a role in helping to forge strong ties between our two communities. One simple gesture we are considering is to plant the "City Tree" of Wakayama somewhere within our park system. Research tells us that Wakayama's city tree is the "Camphor Tree", which I presume to be Cinnanmomum camphora.

    I am unfamiliar with this tree, and am wondering if there is a known example of one growing somewhere within the Lower Mainland? Can it be grown in this part of the world? Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    Dirr's book (Manual of woody landscape plants) lists c. camphora as zone 9 to 11 (USDA zoning)
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    To expand a bit on what Paul said, some parts of the Lower Mainland may be a borderline zone 9, but conditions have to be optimal (e.g., southern exposure, air movement). The past few years have had conditions where plants that require a zone 9 can grow, but one severe frost will devastate those plants.

    Because of this, UBC (and I can check Van Dusen if you like) does not have a Cinnamomum in its collection. I suspect you are correct in assuming that camphor tree is Cinnamomum camphora, by the way.

    So, it doesn't seem like that camphor tree is an option. You may wish to consider, though, other plants that smell like camphor: Eucalyptus, for example - there is a thirty year old specimen of one species growing in the alpine garden at UBC. Or, slightly more suitable (at least its native distribution is Asian), Rhododendron cinnabarinum.

    On a different tack, I rather like the symbolism of a combination of Japanese maples, Acer palmatum or its cultivars. planted with vine maple, Acer circinatum, which is a native of British Columbia. A proper combination would be quite striking. Unfortunately, I'm not skilled enough to give suggestions as to what a proper combination might be, but if this idea makes some sense to you, please post a request in the Maple Society forum.
     

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