Sarasota News Leader

08/09/2013 & 08/16/2013

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Sarasota News Leader August 9 & 16, 2013 Page 98 companying photo, prune it with long-handled pruning shears that are very sharp. Larger bull heads may require a pruning saw. Once you have completed their removal, the plant can revive itself and generate fresh new foliage. This spring the camphor was due for a good heavy pruning. As the accompanying photo shows, I took out many bull heads to thin it and allow it to regenerate over the growing season. Through pruning the worst of a plant's bull heads occasionally, you can keep your tree, shrub or hedge healthy and enjoy it for decades. You may even celebrate your accomplishment with a couple of "Oles!!" If you want to grow a camphor tree, be advised that it is considered a non-native, invasive plant. Camphors were planted here unsuccessfully in the effort to produce camphor oil. Birds, which treasure the seeds, help the trees proliferate. PLANT OF THE MONTH I have a small camphor tree on my property. Though Cinnamomum camphora is capable of achieving heights of up to 40 feet, I frequently trim it to maintain it at a height of about 8 feet. It makes a nice green screen to provide privacy on my property border. Also, to my delight, swallowtail butterflies seem to be attracted to the foliage. A camphor is most easily identified by crushing the leaves, which emit the pungent scent of camphor. If you ever mow grass under a mature specimen, you will be treated to the stimulating aroma of camphor oil. Rick Wielgorecki may be contacted at 362-0600 or wielgo@hotmail.com. % A mature camphor tree can emit a stimulating odor of the oil of the same name.

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