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Cedar Elm

Ulmus crassifolia

Cedar Elm


Cedar Elm is a native North American deciduous tree which reaches 50 to 90 feet in height with a spread reaching 40 to 60 feet and forms a rounded silhouette. The stiff and rough-textured, dark green leaves fade to bright yellow to red/brown before dropping in fall. The inconspicuous, green, summertime flowers are followed by the production of winged seeds in late summer or early fall.

Use and Management

It would be a low maintenance shade and street tree except for its thin, somewhat drooping branches which are somewhat susceptible to breakage at the crotches of major limbs. Some of this could be avoided by maintaining a regular pruning and training program in the early years after transplanting. Cedar Elm has been used extensively in Texas as a street tree due to its adaptability to wet, poor soil conditions. However, it is always best to diversify the tree species in an area so that if a major problem arises on one species, it will only effect a portion of the tree population in the community.

Cedar Elm should be grown in full sun on well-drained soil, acid or alkaline. It is very drought-tolerant once established and tolerates wet soil well. However, mistletoe can engulf the tree leading to its demise.


  • Typically planted in 30, 45, 65, or 95 gal containers.
  • B&B trees are specified in caliper inches (2” cal, etc)
  • Container trees can double the price of B&B trees
  • Plant container trees in late summer, if price allows
  • Plant B&B trees if they were dug and cured in the winter months

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