I took a couple of branches from my bay tree when I left Texas. I planted my bay tree late in the first year we were there in my front yard. I didn't think it would make it for about the first two years. Then eventually it started to grow and send up more shoots. When we left four years later, it seemed like it had turned a corner and was going strong. It is probably the one thing I miss about my old house. I know I can't grow a bay tree here - it's too cold.
The leaves are well dried now and tonight I was picking them off the branches and putting them in a container so I can use them when I make sauce. It will be sad when they are all gone.