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Tree Campus: Oregon Myrtle

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Oregon Myrtle/California Bay

Umbellularia californica (LAURACEAE)



Brief - 5 words or so



"California laurel leaves and twigs are browsed by black-tailed deer and livestock. The tree is in relatively short supply over most of its distribution, but is one of the principal browse species for deer in parts of the North Coast Ranges. The seeds are eaten by birds, rodents, and domestic and wild pigs. . Pigs also consume the roots.

California laurel provides hiding and thermal cover for deer, wild pig, black bear, and various small mammals. It also provides nesting, hiding, and thermal cover for upland game birds and songbirds. It is heavily used for cover when it grows in ecotones between riparian and chaparral communities." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Native Americans made tea from the root bark of California laurel and used the leaves for control of biting insects. The leaves were also used medicinally by Native Americans and pioneers for treatment of headache and rheumatism. 

California laurel leaves are marketed as a food seasoning. The tree is used in ornamental landscaping and is available at commercial nurseries." [1]



"California laurel wood is used for cabinets, furniture, interior trim, paneling, veneer, gunstocks, and turned woodenware. Burls, marketed as myrtlewood, are used for making novelty items and wood carvings...

California laurel is used for a variety of rehabilitative purposes." [1]




[1] Howard, Janet L. 1992. Umbellularia californica. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

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