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

Tree to replace Betula nigra (River birch) in Memphis
August 13, 2012 - HI Mr. Smarty Pants, I think I need to replace the river birch tree in my west-facing front yard in Memphis, TN. I have sun all day, but it gets really hot in the afternoon. The soil in my yar...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
July 10, 2011 - I would appreciate your assistance with some native plant options to replace Italian Cypress trees in the Arboretum area of Austin, TX. I have 12 of the trees on the north side of the house to obstru...
view the full question and answer

Grafting Pecan Trees
July 05, 2013 - I have planted two pecan nuts and now they are about 4 feet tall trees, they have not been grafted but can I graft one of the trees to the other and vice versa and expect pecans from then, they are he...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing, flowering shade tree for Austin
April 28, 2012 - Sister just moved to Austin Texas. She is looking for fast growing shade trees, preferably one with nice flowers. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Cedar trees dying in CO
July 18, 2011 - We have mature cedar trees at the home we bought in SW Colorado. The large ones have begun to die. Can too much water kill a cedar tree and is there anything I can do to keep them alive?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center