Overview

Brief Summary

Ulmaceae -- Elm family

    John J. Stransky and Sylvia M. Bierschenk

    Cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia) grows rapidly to medium or  large size in the Southern United States and northeastern Mexico,  where it may sometimes be called basket elm, red elm, southern  rock elm, or olmo (Spanish). It usually is found on moist,  limestone soils along water courses with other bottomland trees,  but it also grows on dry limestone hills. The wood is very  strong; the lumber is mixed with other southern elm species and  sold as rock elm. Its seeds are eaten by several species of  birds. Within its range, cedar elm is often planted as an  ornamental shade tree. It has the smallest leaves of any native  elm and is one of two that flower in the fall.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Most abundant in eastern Texas, northest Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Also in MO, TN, FL, OK, and MS.

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Cedar elm can be found from extreme southwestern Tennessee,  Arkansas, and eastern and southern Oklahoma; south to central and  southern Texas into the adjacent northeastern Mexican states of  Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas (15); and east to Louisiana and western  Mississippi. There is an isolated population in northern Florida  (5,10).

   
  -The native range of Cedar elm.


  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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John J. Stransky

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Ark., Fla., La., Miss., Okla., Tenn., Tex.; n Mexico.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees , 24-27 m; crowns rounded to narrow. Bark light brown with shallow ridges and large plates. Wood hard. Branches often with opposite corky wings; twigs reddish brown, pubescent. Buds brown, apex acute, pubescent; scales dark brown, shiny, glabrous. Leaves: petiole ca. 1.5 mm, pubescent. Leaf blade ovate to elliptic, 2.5-5 × 1.3-2 cm, base oblique or rounded to cuneate, margins crenate to doubly serrate, apex obtuse; surfaces abaxially softly pubescent, adaxially harshly pubescent. Inflorescences fascicles, 2-5-flowered, 0.5 cm; pedicel 0.75-1 cm. Flowers: calyx deeply lobed, more than 1/2 its length, lobes 6-9, hairy; stamens 5-6, anthers reddish purple; stigmas white, pubescent, exserted and spreading. Samaras green to tan, elliptic to oval, ca. 0.75-1. cm, pubescent, margins ciliate, cilia ca. 0.5 mm. Seeds somewhat thickened, not inflated. 2 n = 28.
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Type Information

Isotype for Ulmus monterreyensis C.H. Mull.
Catalog Number: US 2216219
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. H. Müller
Year Collected: 1939
Locality: Monterrey, Canon Diente., Nuevo León, Mexico, North America
  • Isotype: Muller, C. H. 1942. Amer. Midl. Naturalist. 27: 483.
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Holotype for Ulmus monterreyensis C.H. Mull.
Catalog Number: US 2216218
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. H. Muller
Year Collected: 1939
Locality: Canon Diente., Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, North America
  • Holotype: Muller, C. H. 1942. Amer. Midl. Naturalist. 27: 483.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Bottomlands, and along stream and river courses, especially in limestone soils (Elias, 1980).

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Climate

Cedar elm grows mainly in the Gulf Coastal Plain, which has  relatively mild temperatures throughout the year. The average  January temperature in the region is 8° C (46° F).  Oklahoma and Arkansas average 5° C (41° F), while  temperatures sometimes reach 17° C (63° F) in  southernmost Texas. The average July temperature is 28° C  (82° F) (17).

    The five main States in which cedar elm is found have an average  annual rainfall of 1140 mm (45 in). South Texas averages 460 mm  (18 in), while eastern and central Louisiana receive an average  annual rainfall of 1470 mm (58 in). The average number of days  without a killing frost is 236. All of the States have a minimum  growing season of 220 days.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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John J. Stransky

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Stream banks, low woods, low hillsides, roadsides, waste places; sometimes shade trees; 0-500m.
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Associations

Associated Forest Cover

On dry limestone hills of the central Texas "cedar brakes,"  cedar elm can be found with Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei),  live oak (Quercus virginiana), hackberry (Celtis  occidentalis), Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii),  Mohr oak (Q. mohriana), and Durand oak (Q.  durandii). On the floodplains of major rivers, cedar elm is a  minor component of the following forest cover types (6):  Sweetgum-Willow Oak (Society of American Foresters Type 92),  Sugarberry-American Elm-Green Ash (Type 93) and Overcup Oak-Water  Hickory (Type 96).

    In addition, a variant of Cedar Elm-Water Oak-Willow Oak (Type 92)  is found on low, indistinct or flattened first bottom ridges with  poorly drained soils. The variant is also of minor importance on  some impervious terrace sites, amounting to high shallow flats.

    Other common associates are pecan (Carya illinoensis), eastern  cottonwood (Populus deltoides), red maple (Acer  rubrum), waterlocust (Gleditsia aquatica), honeylocust  (G. triacanthos), persimmon (Diospyros uirginiana),  laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), water oak (Q.  nigra), winged elm (Ulmus alata), blackgum (Nyssa  sylvatica), boxelder (Acer negundo), and (rarely)  baldcypress (Taxodium distichum).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Cedar elm is susceptible to the Dutch elm  disease caused by the fungus Ceratocystis ulmi, which is  carried chiefly by the native elm bark beetle (Hylurgopinus  rufipes) and also by the smaller European elm bark beetle  (Scolytus multistriatus). The disease does not seem to be as  harmful to cedar elm as to the American elm (Ulmus americana).  The offspring of U. crassifolia x parvifolia  crosses indicated an apparent increase in disease resistance  (14).

    A vascular wilt easily confused with Dutch elm disease and harmful  to cedar elm is caused by Ceratocystis ulmi. Again, cedar elm is  not as susceptible to the disease as is American elm. In  Mississippi, only 8.5 percent of 25 large trees 18 cm (7 in) in  d.b.h. and larger and 1 percent of 132 small trees 15 cm (6 in)  in d.b.h. and smaller were affected by the disease, as opposed to  37 percent of the large and 5.7 percent of the small American  elms (8).

    Cedar elm also has been found fairly resistant to Texas root rot  (Phymatotrichum omnivorum) (9), but only slightly  resistant or nonresistant to heartwood decay caused by several  species of Fomes and Polyporus (18). The symptoms of elm phloem  necrosis caused by the mycoplasmalike organism Morsus ulmi have  been suppressed in American and cedar elm by injections of  tetracycline antibiotic (7).

    In Texas, Spanish moss (Tilliandsia usneoides) frequently  drapes the branches of cedar elm; it weakens the branches and may  kill the tree (15).

    The elm leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta luteola) is hosted by all  species of elm throughout the United States, but it causes only  occasional, slight damage to cedar elm (1).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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General Ecology

Reaction to Competition

The literature contains no  information on tolerance of cedar elm to vegetative competition  or tolerance to shade, drought, or other physiological stresses.  Observation of seedlings and of crown class, however, strongly  suggests that cedar elm should be classed as intermediate in  tolerance to shade.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Rooting Habit

The tree is relatively shallow rooted in  early life. It is resistant to root pruning in the nursery. In  later life the trees are moderately tolerant of soil compaction  or disturbance of the root systems (21).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering late summer-early fall.
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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Cedar elm is commonly grown from  seed. Though no reference is made to species in the literature,  cedar elm can probably be propagated vegetatively like other elms  by layering, air-layering, and from greenwood cuttings.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seedling Development

Air-dried seeds may be stored at 4°  C (39° F) for at least I year. Stratification at 5° C  (41° F) for 60 to 90 days before sowing can improve  germination. The seeds should be covered with soil about 5 mm  (0.2 in) deep. Germination is epigeal. Approximately 5 to 12  percent of the viable seed produce plantable stock (19). The  seedlings can usually be outplanted after one growing season in  the nursery.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seed Production and Dissemination

The green fruit, or  samara, is oblong and flattened, deeply notched at the apex, 6 to  13 mm (0.25 to 0.5 in) long, and pubescent, especially along the  margins. The seed within is unsymmetrical, acute, and covered  with a dark chestnut-brown coat. Cleaned seeds average 147,700/kg  (67,000/lb). Dissemination is by wind and germination occurs the  following spring.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Cedar elm flowers from August to  September and fruit ripens from September to October (19).  However, flowering dates have been reported as early as July and  fruiting as late as November (20). When flowers appear in August,  fruit ripens in September, and then a second flowering and  fruiting may occur in October and November, respectively (15).

    Flowers are in fascicles of three to five on slender, pubescent  pedicels 8 to 13 mm (0.31 to 0.51 in) long, located in the axils  of the leaves. The hairy, red-to-green calyx is divided beyond  the middle into four to eight equal and acute lobes, and the  stamen is composed of five or six slender filaments and reddish  purple anthers. Flowers are perfect (19).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Growth

Growth and Yield

Cedar elm is classified as a medium to  large tree. Reports of height at maturity range from 6 m (20 ft)  in the Edwards Plateau of Texas to near 30 m (98 ft) (2,4). The  national champion big tree from Limestone County, TX, is 28.7 m  (94 ft) tall. Mature trees average approximate 90 cm (36 in) in  d.b.h.

    Cedar elm has an unusual cross-section that may be triangular,  almost square, or deeply irregularly scalloped. The annual growth  rings are very indistinct. Thus there may be considerable error  in estimating the average growth rate (3). In the early 1950's  the Southern Forest Experiment Station estimated a volume of  about 5.7 million m³ (1 billion fbm) in the total United  States area (4).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Open pollinated hybrids between Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia)  and cedar elm (U. crassifolia) have been recorded (14).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread in southcentral U.S. and relatively common.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Special Uses

The seeds are part of the diet of several bird species. In south  Texas, 10 percent of the diet of the plain chachalaca consists of  cedar elm seeds (11). Wild turkey in Texas use elm seeds and buds  for 5 to 10 percent of their diet (12). In addition, squirrels  eat the buds.

    Cedar elm is frequently planted as an ornamental shade tree in  Oklahoma and Texas (21).

    Cedar elm flowers about the same time as the ragweeds and is known  to cause or to complicate later summer hayfever (5).

    The wood is known for its great strength and exceptionally good  shock resistance. Its specific gravity and shrinkage are quite  similar to those of rock elm (Ulmus thomasii) (4).  Because their wood is anatomically similar, cedar elm, rock elm,  winged elm, and September elm (U. serotina) are all  classified as "rock elm." They are most easily  distinguished by differences in the ultraviolet fluorescence of  the aqueous extracts of the heartwood (16).

    Because of its similarity to rock elm, cedar elm can be used as a  substitute for rock elm (4). It is most suitable for the  manufacturing of furniture and fence posts. The wood also is  excellent for steam bending and therefore is used to make  containers such as boxes, baskets, crates, and barrels. Other  products made from the wood include caskets and dairy, poultry,  and apiary supplies.

    Cedar elm leaves can be used as indicators of the severity of air  pollution. The sulfate content of leaf samples shows the  long-term exposure to sulfur dioxide, which is related to overall  pollution levels (13).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Wikipedia

Ulmus crassifolia

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 northwestern Florida;[1] it also occurs in northeastern Mexico.[2][3] The tree typically grows well in flat valley bottom areas referred to as 'Cedar Elm Flats'.

Description[edit]

The Cedar Elm is a medium-sized 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 in the year, 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 – 10 mm long, maturing quickly after the flowering in late fall.[4][5]

Pests and diseases[edit]

Cedar Elm is susceptible to Dutch elm disease (DED), though not to the extent that American Elm is, 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, whilst in Texas it is damaged by Spanish moss Tillandsia usneoides, which drapes across the branches weakening the tree, occasionally killing it.[6][7]

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.[citation needed]

Cultivation[edit]

Owing to Dutch elm disease, the Cedar Elm is now rarely cultivated in North America. It is extremely rare in cultivation in Europe,[8] and Australasia.[9]

Cultivars[edit]

Hybrids[edit]

Accessions[edit]

North America[edit]

Europe[edit]

Australasia[edit]

Nurseries[edit]

North America[edit]

Widely available

Europe[edit]

Australasia[edit]

None known.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Map: Ulmus crassifolia". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ "A New Species of Ulmus (Ulmaceae) from Southern Mexico and a Synopsis of the Species in Mexico". Jstor.org. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  4. ^ "Ulmus crassifolia in Flora of North America @". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  5. ^ "Plants Profile for Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm)". Plants.usda.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  6. ^ "Ulmus crassifolia Nutt". Na.fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Elwes, H. J. & Henry, A. (1913). The Trees of Great Britain & Ireland. Vol. VII. pp 1848-1929. Private publication. [2]
  9. ^ Auckland Botanical Society (2003). Journal Vol. 58 (1), June 2003. ISSN 0113-41332
  10. ^ "''Ulmus crassifolia'' at Morton Arboretum". Cirrusimage.com. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  11. ^ Ramon Jordan. "US National Arboretum :". Usna.usda.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  12. ^ "English". Arboretum-waasland.be. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
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Notes

Comments

Except for the Suwanee River valley in Florida, Ulmus crassifolia has not been found east of Webster County, Mississippi. It hybridizes with U . serotina .
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