Umbellularia californica is a large hardwood tree native to coastal forests of California and slightly extended into the state of Oregon. It is endemic to the California Floristic Province. It is the sole species in the genus Umbellularia.
The bay tree, like so many others, will develop differently depending upon the conditions in which it is growing. When found on drier hillsides, it is generally smaller, with yellower leaves and smaller nuts. In a canyon with its roots in plentiful water and rich soil, the leaves will be thinner and darker green and whole tree, nuts and leaves will generally be larger.
Because of its thin bark, the tree is easily top-killed by fire, but it sprouts rapidly. Dense clumps are often formed on cutover land, which may prevent the establishment of desired conifers.
While bays can and do contribute to wildfire hazard, that hazard can often be mitigated through maintenance - by removing shrubs and dead vegetation, fallen limbs, grasses, etc from the base of the tree and beneath its canopy, and removing lower limbs. This maintenance work mimics what nature would have done, with fire and grazing/browsing by animals, had we not interrupted the natural processes.
In some cases, the shape, structure, health, or location of the tree necessitates its removal. These factors must be considered also, to help determine whether maintenance or removal are necessary to mitigate any hazard.
Carolina Laurel Cherry is grown as an evergreen shrub or tree standard, favored for its shiny green foliage. However, the flower and fruit litter is a problem in paved areas, and it may reseed unwantedly. It withstands heat, dryness and wind, and is quite durable once established. Variety Compacta generally grows 8-10' tall. It may require regularly scheduled light top-trimming (but not necessarily shearing) of vigorous top shoots to maintain its height below 25'.
Has fragrant Flower.
Native to Southeastern United States.
CAROLINA LAUREL CHERRY, CHERRY LAUREL
Compact and Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.
Conical or Oval Shape.
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 20 - 30 feet.
Width: 15 - 25 feet.
Growth Rate: 36 Inches per Year.
Longevity 50 to 150 years.
Leaves Lanceolate to Oblong, Glossy Medium Green, No Change, Evergreen.
Flowers Showy. Fragrant White. Flowers in Spring or Winter. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Black Drupe, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Winter, Spring or Summer.
Bark Dark Gray or Light Gray, Smooth.
Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.
Litter Issue is Flowers and Wet Fruit.
Sunset Zones 5 - 24.
USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 10.
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.
Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.
Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.
Salinity Tolerance is Moderate on Coast.
Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.
Resistant to Oak Root Fungus. Susceptible to Scales, Fire Blight, Root Rot, Rust, Gummosis and Verticillium.
Branch Strength Rated as Medium.
Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.
Allergy and Poisonous Health Hazard.
Biogenic Emissions considered Low.
Fire Resistance is Favorable.
Attracts Birds and Bees.
Not Deer Palatable.
Hedged or Topiary.
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Prunus caroliniana Tree Record." 1995-2017. May 4, 2017.
Adenostoma fasciculatum is a flowering plant native to Oregon, Nevada, California, and northern Baja California. This shrub is one of the most widespread plants of the chaparral biome. This plant is a major component of the chaparral and is holding the soil on the hillsides in California. Chamise also protects the soil after fires as it crown sprouts back from the base. A good understory plant that grows well under chamise, with a nice mulch of chamise leaves and twigs, is Viola pedunculata.
Baccharis pilularis, called coyote brush (or bush), chaparral broom, and bush baccharis, is a shrub in the daisy family native to California, Oregon, Washington, and Baja California. The plants are found in a variety of habitats, from coastal bluffs, oak woodlands, and grasslands, including on hillsides and in canyons, below 2,000 feet (610 m).
Coyote brush is known as a secondary pioneer plant in communities such as coastal sage scrub and chaparral. It does not regenerate under a closed shrub canopy because seedling growth is poor in the shade. Coast live oak, California bay, Rhus integrifolia, and other shade producing species replace coastal sage scrub and other coyote bush-dominated areas, particularly when there hasn't been a wildfire or heavy grazing.
In California grasslands, it comes in late and invades and increases in the absence of fire or grazing. Coyote bush invasion of grasslands is important because it helps the establishment of other coastal sage species.
Fire Resistant or Fire Hazardous?
Coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) is only moderately fire resistant when it is young and green. After 2-5 years, most coyote brush builds up an increasing amount of dead, woody material that may be highly combustible. This buildup is nature's way of encouraging fires, which Coyote brush depends on to regenerate.
As with many plants, it can be maintained in a state of relatively low combustibility, however due to the high maintenance and irrigation requirements, FIRESafe MARIN considers it to be fire-hazardous and do not recommend it within 30' of any structures. When present, it must be maintained well spaced, as single specimens, and cut back regularly to remove deadwood and encourage new, green growth. Regular, light irrigation may improve its fire resistance.
They are evergreen trees or large shrubs. The leaves are scale-like, arranged in opposite decussate pairs, and persist for three to five years. On young plants up to two years old, the leaves are needle-like. The cones are long, globose or ovoid with four to 14 scales arranged in opposite decussate pairs; they are mature in 18-24 months from pollination. The seeds are small, 4-7 mm long, with two narrow wings, one along each side of the seed.
Many of the species are adapted to fire, holding their seeds for many years in closed cones until the parent trees are killed by a fire; the seeds are then released to colonise the bare, burnt ground. In other species, the cones open at maturity to release the seeds.
The fast-growing hybrid Leyland cypress, often found in gardens, draws one of its parents from this genus (Monterey cypress C. macrocarpa).