Timberpedia - Laurel


Latin Name:Irish Name:Native to Ireland?
Prunus laurocerasus LabhraisNo

About the Tree

Also known as cherry laurel, or English laurel, this species actually originated in the regions around the Black Sea (southwestern Asia and southeastern Europe.

Laurel can theoretically grow to about 60ft in height with a 2ft diameter, although this would be
unusual in Ireland where a maximum height of around 40ft and girth of 12″ would be considered

Laurel is cultivated for use in gardens, landscaping, shelter and hedgerows. The leaves are
poisonous and can produce low levels of cyanide (smelling of almonds) when crushed in the fingers
(or digested).

In Ireland, laurel is included on the “Amber List” of Invasive Species, meaning that it has good
potential to negatively impact the ecology of an area if left unmanaged. Its rapid growth, coupled
with its evergreen habit and its tolerance of drought and shade, often allow it to out-compete and
kill off native plant species. It is spread by birds, through the seeds in their droppings. A small
stick of laurel, if left on the woodland of floor, can grow roots and leaves and become an
independent tree very quickly.


About the Wood

Laurel wood contains a lot of water when fresh, so it requires a lot of drying before use.
The colours and colour variations on laurel can be very striking, ranging from plain cream colours to
oranges and browns.

Karayemiş-8 Foliage and fruit
Prunus laurocerasus macrophylla Fruit
About the TimberPedia

Know your wood! The Timberpedia is a broad resource that aims to catalogue all the major tree species in Ireland, containing information that we’ve gathered from over two decades maintaining our natural woodland and serving Ireland’s woodworking industry.

All written material is copyright © 2021 by the Lisnavagh Timber Project.