The War of the Camphor Laurels

Global Perspectives

One million camphor laurel trees have spread throughout the Bellingen valley, in the north coast hinterland of Australia’s New South Wales. It’s taken them a hundred years to dominate the land. Locals either see the trees as beautiful, or as giant weeds. And for a year now the town’s been at war over whether four camphor laurel trees should be chopped down. The debate over the trees has become a debate over the changing nature of Bellingen. Everybody in town has an opinion; sometimes several.

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