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A Tree is Growing in an Odd Place

Q: Can you tell me what this small tree is? It popped up in an odd place. Depending on what it is, I might plant it somewhere appropriate.  Can I grow one in a pot since the birds seem to enjoy the berries produced?

A: This is a camphor tree.  Crush the leaves and it will smell like have an unmistakable odor of camphor.  It is a pest plant and should be removed from the landscape.

It is true that birds enjoy the seeds of this tree. This is probably how you got them in your landscape in the first place.  According to the University of Florida IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas (IFAS Invasive Plant Working Group 2008), the Camphor tree is invasive and not recommended in the north and central zone in Florida.

Is it not likely that this large, round-canopied, evergreen tree with broad, large-diameter, unusually strong branches that can reach a height of 40 to 50 feet with a 40 to 60-foot canopy spread will grow well in a pot to reach an age (5-7 years) where it will produce seeds for birds.