The War of the Camphor Laurels
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.