Plant ID forum: Is this a bay tree?

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Mar 7, 2017 5:33 PM CST
I've moved recently and trying to get to grips with my new garden. Does anyone know what this is please?
Thumb of 2017-03-07/ktmabel/2d61fe
Thumb of 2017-03-07/ktmabel/9984ca
Name: Scott
Tampa FL (Westchase)
Tropicals Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bromeliad Plumerias Dog Lover
Foliage Fan Orchids Cactus and Succulents
Mar 7, 2017 6:02 PM CST
Looks like my Bay Tree.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Mar 7, 2017 7:18 PM CST
I agree, it looks like Bay but let's be absolutely positive before you throw some into your spaghetti sauce. If it is Bay, it will smell like Bay when you break a leaf. Also, knowing where this tree is growing would help with a positive ID.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Mar 8, 2017 8:06 AM CST
Hi ktmabel,

You don't have to give us an exact location but it will help narrow down a more exact ID if you can at least tell us what part of the country or world the tree is growing.

That being said, it does resemble a Bay Laurel True Laurel (Laurus nobilis)

It also reminds me a bit of Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum camphora)

Another photo of Camphor leaves here:

Crush a leaf and see if there is a distinct fragrance. Both of those trees have fragrant leaves.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
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Mar 9, 2017 10:47 AM CST
Bay Laurel (Umbellularia) and Grecian Bay (Laurus Nobilis) look similar, but have some differences.
The Grecian Bay (or Sweet Bay), is somewhat slow growing compared to Bay Laurel. The leaves aren't as pungent, nor as glossy, and will often have a wavy edge.
Younger stems on Bay Laurel are green, and tend to have somewhat lax, arching growth off the main stem. The growth on your plant is more upright, and lacks the green stems. Also, if the leaf litter belongs to your plant, Bay Laurel's leaf litter is yellow and brown.
To avoid confusion, maybe it's a regional thing, but here in California, Bay Laurel is our native Umbelluria californica, where Laurus nobilis is Grecian, or Sweet Bay. The Bay Laurel is a weed tree in my forest.. and opportunistic grower that will shade out other trees and plants. It's also a carrier of Sudden Oak Death.. I'm not terrible fond of it Sticking tongue out
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