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Five great things about Cedar Elm trees

We hear a lot these days about how important native trees and plants are. Cedar Elms are one of my favorite native Texas trees. Here are five of the things I most love about cedar elms!

  1. GREAT FOR URBAN YARDS! Cedar Elm doesn’t grow as wide a canopy as some shade trees so it’s a great match for today’s smaller yards.

2. NO THORNS! Most of the native trees here in south Texas are armed. You can call them spined or thorned, but they are just a spikey pain when you want to prune, weed or plant near them.

3. DROUGHT TOLERANT! Once established, cedar elms are very drought tolerant. Give them a year (or two) of regular watering to make sure their root system is well established, after which they can handle the stress of less water. Ironically, we often read how well they handle saturated ground! Talk about win-win!

4. FALL COLOR! Here in south Texas, our fall foliage tends to be green. Many autumns, cedar elm trees will put on a show with beautiful yellow, gold, and orange leaves. Check out these cedar elm leaves from past falls!

5. THEY’RE NATIVE! Being native means they’re easier to care for, but it also means that you’ll see more birds and butterflies on it. Cedar elms happen to be a host plant for both the Mourning Cloak and Question Mark butterflies.   (A host plant is one that provides food for the caterpillar) Our cedar elm is a favorite nesting, perching, and feeding spot.

Cedar elm is a wonderful shade tree and way underused!

Mary Beth

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