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Tree Profile: Cedar Elm

The Cedar Elm, Ulmus crassifolia, is one of the most common and widespread native trees in Texas. It grows all over the eastern half of the state, with the exception of the most southern parts. We love Cedar Elms because they are a tough, heat-tolerant shade tree that can weather a drought. They also provide beautiful golden foliage color in fall.

The leaves of this elm are small; they emerge a glossy green in spring and then as leaves mature they become rough to the touch. If you have heavy, compacted clay soils, Cedar Elm is a good choice for you. They can tolerate heavy poorly draining soils much better than many of our tree choices. This elm flowers and sets seed in the fall, unlike its related elms that do so in spring. You should see flowers developing in July and August, but they are very small and inconspicuous. By fall, you’ll see the branches filled with clusters of seeds, also called samara. There are several native birds that use Cedar Elm as a food source.

Cedar Elms grow to be large specimens, reaching 90-feet tall and 80-feet wide. However, under harsh conditions or rocky soil, plants will remain much smaller. On average, you should plan on a Cedar Elm reaching 60-feet tall. So this is not a tree that should be planted in a compact urban space. Make sure you have adequate clearance from your home or street if you plan to establish a Cedar Elm. These trees grow in an upright vase shape, which makes them ideal for shading your home in summer.

Once established, Cedar Elms can be a great addition to North Texas landscapes. Again, their tough, heat and drought tolerant nature and strong wood makes them a favorite of ours here at Preservation Tree Services.

Need us to select and plant a Cedar Elm for you? Give us a call at 214-528-2266 or 817-581-4502

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