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Camphor laurel yields a beautiful, rich honey-coloured timber with a clean, fresh camphor smell that is perfect for furniture, carving, and cabinetry. The tree is native to Taiwan, southern Japan, southeast China and Indochina, where it has great cultural significance as a source of scent, oil and crystallised blocks for use in religious ceremonies and for medicinal purposes. It is used as a valuable timber for furniture and carving icons.
In Australia, the camphor laurel has a less respectable reputation. The 20 – 30 metre tall evergreen tree was introduced in the 1820s and quickly displaced and inhibited native vegetation. It was widely used for windbreaks and as a measure against soil erosion and as a result has proliferated on disused pasture along the coastal hinterland of NSW and parts of Queensland. It is now categorised as a weed and can easily be identified by its glossy, waxy leaves that smell strongly of camphor when crushed.