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Mr. Smarty Plants - Cedar Elm trees for Rockport, TX

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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

 

 

 

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