The Q&A Archives: Camphor Tree

Question: I have two camphor trees in the parkway in front of my house, ever since they were planted about 5 years ago one of them has been dark green and full but the other one has yellow leaves and is very empty. The healthier one is about 18 feet tall, but the other is only about 14 feet tall. Why is this happening, and is thier something I can do about it?

Answer: Cinnamomum, the camphor tree, is slow to grow, but can reach considerable size. The leaves of this tree are aromatic when chrushed. There are no major pest problems with camphors, but they are subject to root rot. The sypmtoms include wilting and dying of twigs, branches, and eventually, the entire center of the tree. Wood in the twigs and branches of a camphor with root rot show a brownish discoloration. Wet winters, or planting in a poorly draining spot make a tree more susceptible to this root rot. There is no cure, but sometimes a tree will outgrow the problem. Cut out the damaged branches and water infrequently but deeply.

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