Cedar Elm

Cedar Elm Plant Information


Cedar Elm grows in the following 8 states:

Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas

Ulmus crassifolia Nutt., the Texas cedar elm or simply cedar elm, is a deciduous tree native to south central North America, mainly in southern and eastern Texas, eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, with small populations in western Mississippi, southwest Tennessee and north central Florida; it also occurs in northeastern Mexico. The tree typically grows well in flat valley bottom areas referred to as 'Cedar Elm Flats'. The common name 'cedar elm' is derived from the trees' association with juniper trees, locally known as cedars.

The cedar elm is a medium to large deciduous tree growing to 24-27m tall with a rounded crown. The leaves are small, 2.5-5cm long by 1.3-2cm broad, with an oblique base, and distinguish it from Ulmus serotina with which it readily hybridizes in the wild. Leaf fall is late, often in early winter. The wind-pollinated apetalous perfect flowers are produced in the late summer or early fall; they are small and inconspicuous, with a reddish-purple color. The fruit is a small winged samara 8-10mm long, maturing quickly after the flowering in late fall.
This is the most common Elm tree in Texas.
Cedar elm is susceptible to Dutch elm disease (DED), though less so than American elm, and moderately damaged by the elm leaf beetle Xanthogaleruca luteola. The tree also suffers from a vascular wilt, the symptoms often confused with those of DED.
Cedar elms are very susceptible to Mistletoe. Mistletoe is a parasite that roots itself in to the vascular system of the tree, thus stealing valuable nutrients and water. In some cases, if not removed the parasite can be devastating to large sections of trees and even fatal. They create club like branches that die out at the ends. These "club" branches create openings for future pests like the elm beetles and carpenter ants. There are no known treatments that are safe enough to kill mistletoe without killing the tree. Removing the mistletoe manually is not a guarantee, however it is the best known method for control.
Owing to Dutch elm disease, the cedar elm is now rarely cultivated in North America. It is extremely rare in cultivation in Europe, and Australasia. Specimens supplied by the Spth nursery to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1902 may survive in Edinburgh as it was the practice of the Garden to distribute trees about the city (viz. the Wentworth Elm).
The USA National Champion, measuring 37m high in 2001, grows in the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park Tennessee.
Widely available
None known.

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