I have a child element that needs to inherit the height of a parent element way up the element tree. Is there a way to tell the child element to inherit a property from another element without specifying it for all parent levels up the tree?
The answer in short: No; it is not possible.
Only inheritable properties (some actually can't be) can be passed from parents to children.
From your question: "Is there a way to tell the child element to inherit a property from another element WITHOUT specifying it for all parent levels up the tree?":
Take it as: without specification = no legal relation (to inherit a property as in a day to day reality).
In actual sense, only the
<html> element cannot inherit a property.
All others need to be reference where appropriate and such properties must be inreritable for the transfer to be successful.
... more details.