Wow Andie, impressive because they seem to grow slowly. I have one that is now about 2 m tall and more of a bush, which is fine with me because I'm growing it for the leaves, not for shade.
I find the fresh leaves are more delicate and I use more. I think the taste is a bit different. I probably should throw out my old store-bought dried leaves and dry some of my own since I now have enough to harvest.
When my family lived in England, the landlady was out front pruning trees and handed my very confused mother a branch as a gift. The landlady finally realised she had to explain that it was bay. I don't think my mother had ever seen it anywhere but in little packs before.