Ulmus crassifolia

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Ulmus crassifolia
Ulmus crassifolia
McKinney Falls State Park, Austin, Texas.
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Ulmaceae
Genus: Ulmus
Subgenus: U. subg. Oreoptelea
Section: U. sect. Chaetoptelea
U. crassifolia
Binomial name
Ulmus crassifolia
Natural range (Florida population excluded)
  • Ulmus monterreyensis Mull.
  • Ulmus opaca Nutt.

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, southern Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, with small populations in western Mississippi, southwest Tennessee, and north-central Florida;[2] it also occurs in northeastern Mexico.[3][4] It is the most common elm tree in Texas. The tree typically grows well in flat valley bottom areas referred to as cedar elm flats. Its Latin name refers to its comparatively thick (crassifoliate) leaves;[5] the common name cedar elm is derived from the trees' association with juniper trees, locally known as cedars.[6]


The cedar elm is a medium to large deciduous tree growing to 24–27 m tall with a rounded crown. The leaves are small, 2.5–5 cm long by 1.3–2 cm 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, and hang on slender stalks a third to a half inch long. The fruit is a small winged samara 8–10 mm long, downy on both surfaces at first, maturing quickly after the flowering in late fall.[7][8][9]

Pests and diseases[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Cedar elms are very susceptible to mistletoe. Mistletoe is a parasite that roots itself into 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 such as the elm beetles and carpenter ants. No treatments are known to be safe enough to kill mistletoe without killing the tree. Removing the mistletoe manually is not a guarantee, but it is the best-known method for control.[citation needed]

Cedar elms are known to be highly immune to Texas root rot caused by the fungus Phymatotrichopsis omnivora. Because of this, it is usually planted in regions where P. omnivora is prevalent, since the closely related lacebark elm is highly susceptible and easily killed by the fungus.


U. crassifolia is extremely rare in cultivation in Europe[9] and Australasia.[10] Specimens were supplied by the Späth nursery of Berlin from the late 19th century.[11] Henry (1913) and Bean (1988) note that it does not thrive in northern Europe, where the branchlets often die back.[9][12] Three trees supplied by Späth to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1902 as U. crassifolia[13] may survive in Edinburgh, as it was the practice of the garden to distribute trees about the city (viz. the Wentworth elm).[14]

Notable trees[edit]

The US national champion, measuring 37 m high in 2001, grows in the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, Tennessee.[15][1]




North America[edit]



  • Manukau Cemetery & Crematorium, Auckland, New Zealand. No details available.


North America[edit]

Widely available



None known.


  1. ^ Barstow, M. (2017). "Ulmus crassifolia". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T61966946A61966949. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T61966946A61966949.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Map: Ulmus crassifolia". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  3. ^ Todzia, C. A. & Panero, J. L. (2006). A new species of Ulmus (Ulmaceae) from southern Mexico and a synopsis of the species in Mexico. Brittonia, Vol 50, (3): 346
  4. ^ Todzia, Carol A.; Panero, José L. (1998). "A New Species of Ulmus (Ulmaceae) from Southern Mexico and a Synopsis of the Species in Mexico". Brittonia. 50 (3): 343–347. doi:10.2307/2807778. JSTOR 2807778. S2CID 21320752.
  5. ^ a b "Ulmus crassifolia at Morton Arboretum". Cirrusimage.com. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  6. ^ "The many beneficial traits of cedar elm". 22 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Ulmus crassifolia in Flora of North America @". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  8. ^ "Plants Profile for Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm)". Plants.usda.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  9. ^ a b c Elwes, H. J. & Henry, A. (1913). The Trees of Great Britain & Ireland, Vol. VII, p.1929. Republished 2004 Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9781108069380
  10. ^ Wilcox, Mike; Inglis, Chris (2003). "Auckland's elms" (PDF). Auckland Botanical Society Journal. 58 (1). Auckland Botanical Society: 38–45.
  11. ^ Späth, L., Catalogue 104 (1899–1900; Berlin), p.133
  12. ^ Bean, W. J. (1988) Trees and shrubs hardy in Great Britain, 8th edition, Murray, London
  13. ^ "Herbarium specimen - E00824870". Herbarium Catalogue. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Labelled U. crassifolia, 1902, from Späth nursery; "Herbarium specimen - E00824871". Herbarium Catalogue. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Labelled U. crassifolia, 1902, from Späth nursery
  14. ^ Accessions book. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 1902. pp. 45, 47.
  15. ^ American Forests. (2012). The 2012 National Register of Big Trees.
  16. ^ U. × arkansana information in U. serotina article, efloras.org
  17. ^ Herbarium specimen labelled U. crassifolia × U. serotina, St. Francis County, Arkansas, 1967; Duke University Herbarium no. 10074806
  18. ^ Herbarium specimen labelled U. crassifolia × U. serotina, St. Francis County, Arkansas, 1967; Tulane University Herbarium no. 0048399
  19. ^ Herbarium specimen labelled U. crassifolia × U. serotina, St. Francis County, Arkansas, 1967; Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Herbarium no. 002200
  20. ^ Herbarium specimen labelled U. crassifolia × U. serotina, St. Francis County, Arkansas, 1967; Mississippi State University Herbarium no. 036765
  21. ^ Herbarium specimen labelled U. × arkansana (?), Pulaski County, Arkansas, 2016; Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission Herbarium no. 009182
  22. ^ Herbarium specimen labelled U. aff. crassifolia, probably U. × arkansana, Pulaski County, Arkansas, 2012; Austin Peay State University Herbarium no. 0053465
  23. ^ Ramon Jordan. "US National Arboretum". Usna.usda.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  24. ^ "English". Arboretum-waasland.be. Retrieved 2013-09-01.

External links[edit]