Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 21, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Life expectancy for Ulmus crassifolia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the life expectancy for a cedar elm? We live in Austin, and the tree was likely here before the house, which was built in 1939.

ANSWER:

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) is considered a long-lived tree, even though it is quick growing. It is called a Cedar Elm because it is frequently found in the wild with Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper), which are called "cedars" in this part of the country.

It is difficult to estimate the age of a cedar elm because it has an unusual cross-section that may be triangular, almost square, or deeply irregularly scalloped. The annual growth rings are very indistinct. If, in truth, your tree was already in place before your house was built in 1939, then you already know a cedar elm can live in excess of 70 years. The average height for cedar elms in our Central Texas limestone soils is about 50 feet.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cedar elm
Ulmus crassifolia

More Trees Questions

Japanese lilac trees in Lehi UT
July 31, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, We live in Utah and this past spring planted three Japanese Lilac Trees in the lawn next to the deck hoping they would one day provide some shade. They are planted in full sun ...
view the full question and answer

Leaf fall from Cedar Elm planted in clay
August 17, 2008 - I saw the answer to leaves falling off a cedar elm planted in clay. However I planted a Cedar Elm in my back yard. I dug a hole in the grass then planted and put grass back on top. I water every other...
view the full question and answer

Will smoketrees (Cotinus sp.) grow in the Texas Panhandle region
June 03, 2010 - Will smoke trees grow in the Lubbock-Amarillo, Texas region of Texas?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Jacaranda interfering with concrete wall from Los Angeles
August 17, 2011 - We have been replanting the area surrounding our 2 story apt bldg and on one area, there is Jacaranda that started growing in an enclosed cement block wall area. The cemented walled in area which is ...
view the full question and answer

Bark problems with Monterrey oak from Austin
September 15, 2012 - I planted a 65 gallon Monterrey Oak (White Oak) in my front yard in February of this year. I water it once a week. All of the leaves and branches appear very healthy and there is no discoloration....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.