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Ulmus crassifolia (Cedar elm) | NPIN
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Ulmus crassifolia (Cedar elm)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Ulmus crassifolia

Ulmus crassifolia Nutt.

Cedar elm, Fall elm, Olmo

Ulmaceae (Elm Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: ULCR

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Cedar elm is a large, oval-rounded tree growing 50-70 ft. high and 40-60 ft. wide. Bark is scaly and the drooping branches have corky ridges. Dark-green leaves are small and rough-textured. Leaves much smaller than those of the American Elm, Fall foliage is yellow except in the southern part of the range where it is evergreen. Tree with rounded crown of drooping branches and the smallest leaves of any native elm.

The common native elm in east Texas where it is planted for shade. Called Cedar Elm because of the rough, cedar scale-like texture of the leaves and because it is often found in the western part of its range with Ashe Juniper (Juniperus ashei), which is locally called cedar. The Latin species name means thick leaf.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Ovate
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Margin: Crenate , Double-serrate
Leaf Apex: Obtuse
Leaf Base: Cuneate , Oblique , Rounded
Fruit Type: Samara
Size Notes: 30-60 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit:
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: AR , FL , LA , MO , MS , OK , TN , TX
Native Distribution: TN & AR, s. to MS & TX
Native Habitat: Woodlands; ravines; open slopes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist to dry, alkaline soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type, Limestone-based
Conditions Comments: Cedar elm is a nicely-proportioned, hardy, drought tolerant shade tree for a broad range of soil types. It brings vivid yellow color to the landscape in autumn. No need to rake the small leaves—they compost nicely. Young trees have corky wings on their branches. The Mourning Cloak and Question Mark butterflies use it for larval food. Withstands drought and heavy, infertile soils. Susceptible to Dutch elm disease. Reasonably fast-growing. Known to cause severe allergy reactions.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Shade tree, Fast growing, Long-living, Fall conspicuous
Use Wildlife: Seeds-granivorous birds, Cover, Substrate-insectivorous birds, Nesting site, Browse, Seeds-Small mammals.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Mourning Cloak, Question Mark
Deer Resistant: No

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Ulmus crassifolia is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Question Mark
(Polygonia interrogationis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Mourning Cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Elms germinated quickly from fresh, untreated seeds. Sow spring-ripening species immediately after collection; fall-ripening after winter storage and stratification.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds by raking from the ground soon after they fall or by stripping them from the branches. Air-dry a few days before storing. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Fall-ripened seeds may be stratified for 30-60 days at 36-40 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Plants for wildlife and trees for shade.
September 29, 2007
We live in Kempner Texas, our land has mostly cedar trees. We would like to make a wildlife habitat on the back side of our property. Can you recommend plants that will grow in shade to partial sun,...
view the full question and answer

Native trees for cemetery plot in Karnes County, TX
April 08, 2007
I'm looking for a tree for a cemetery plot in Karnes County at Pana Maria. There will be someone to regularly water it. I understand live oak and pecan are native to the area. I assume these would...
view the full question and answer

Invasive, non-native Paulownia
May 03, 2006
Hi. We would like to plant a fast growing tree that will provide shade for our house. What do you think of the Paulownia tree (Empress Tree) as a possibility for the Austin area? If this is not a g...
view the full question and answer

Possible identification of Post Oak in New Braunfels, TX
January 27, 2006
I live 6 miles north of New Braunfels in the Hill Country and own 5 acres of land. The property consists of many escarpment live oaks, texas persimon, and ashe juniper. I believe I also have some Te...
view the full question and answer

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Hill Country Natives - Leander, TX
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Patsy Glenn Refuge - Wimberley, TX
Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0954 Collected Sep 2, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-42 Collected 2006-10-19 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Bibliography

Bibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1993 VOL. 10, NO.6 - Saving Trees and Plants at New Center Site a Big Job, Director's Report, Wildflo...

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ulmus crassifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ulmus crassifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ulmus crassifolia

Metadata

Record Modified: 2010-12-12
Research By: LAL, GAP

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