En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - January 08, 2010

From: Rockport, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Cedar Elm trees for Rockport, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Cedar Elm trees for the Gulf Coast area? I live alongside a fresh water lake with sandy soil that is 2 miles from the bays. Along the shoreline, I'd like to replace a Weeping Willow that is in decline and I read that Cedar Elms maybe a good choice. Will this tree be a good choice and tolerate moderate salt spray and stand up to the stiff southeast winds? I had many Cedar Elms in San Antonio and loved them. However, I never see them down in the Corpus/Rockport areas.

ANSWER:

It does appear from this USDA Plant Profile of Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) that it grows natively in and around Nueces and Aransas Counties on the Gulf Coast of Texas. From our Native Plant Database, here are the soil preferences for this tree: "Soil Description: Moist to dry, alkaline soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type, Limestone-based."

In terms of salt spray tolerance, the best we could get from a great many resources on this elm is that it was "moderate." Since that was the word you used, we are hoping that means both the soils and the salt tolerance would be appropriate for this elm. On the subject of withstanding winds, you probably know that a lot of the cedar elms grow in Central Texas, and we have lots of wind. We could find no information indicating that the cedar elm is unusually brittle or more subject to wind damage. Another piece of information we picked up was the natural habitat for Ulmus crassifolia is coastal plains. Looks to us like your area would certainly qualify for that. 

We really don't know, since we know this tree is native to your area, why you don't see many around. If you are curious as to whether disease or storm damage has reduced the population, we suggest you contact either the Nueces or Aransas County Extension Office. They would have more on-the-spot information. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ulmus crassifolia

Ulmus crassifolia

Ulmus crassifolia

Ulmus crassifolia

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Fast-spreading desert-type tree with thorns in yard
July 21, 2014 - There is a fast spreading tree in my backyard - many multiple almost symmetric flat green oval leaves on either side of the stem (sort of like a moringa tree but this is not that). Grows straight up, ...
view the full question and answer

Windbreak [Dustbreak] for Shelton, WA
May 31, 2013 - I live on a well traveled, dusty, gravel road in the Pacific North West and would like to plant a barrier to help control the dust.
view the full question and answer

Reason for tree canopy dieback from Mahopac NY
May 21, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Not a questions, just sharing, re person in Texas whose Ash Jupiter appeared to be dying "canopy very thin on top". We moved to Putnam Co. NY in 1970. Our house was shaded by...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestion for a replacement tree in Dallas, TX.
January 23, 2013 - We are going to have a 25' tall tree removed and ground out because every year squirrels chew the branches and make huge piles on the deck and into the pool. This continues for a good month 1.5. Hen...
view the full question and answer

When is the appropriate time to prune pecan trees in Hewitt?
September 07, 2008 - Labor Day Weekend my husband decided to trim all the low branches on a big pecan tree in our back yard which I thought should had been done at the first of the year, our temprature is in the mid 90's...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center