Eucommia ulmoides

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Common Name: hardy rubber tree
Type: Tree
Family: Eucommiaceae
Native Range: Central China
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Greenish-brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Insignificant
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Best in full sun. Tolerates wide range of soil conditions except wet ones.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hardy rubber tree is typically grown as an ornamental shade tree because of its attractive glossy green foliage and its excellent resistance to insect and disease problems. It is native to China, but is possibly now extinct in the wild. It is a low-branching tree that typically grows 40-60’ tall with broad ascending branches and a rounded spreading crown. Dioecious with insignificant apetulous greenish brown male flowers (in clusters) and female flowers (solitary) on separate trees. Flowers bloom in April. Female flowers give way to flattened ash-like winged seeds (wings to 1.5” long). Serrate, elliptic to ovate, pointed, elm-like, glossy dark green leaves (3-6” long) remain attractive throughout the growing season. No fall color. Ulmoides means resembling elm in reference to the similar leaf shape. As the common name suggests, rubber can in fact be made from the tree sap, but the extraction process is complicated and too costly for commercial application. Tear a leaf, break a twig or peel off some bark and a stringy latex-like sap appears.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Shade tree for lawns or parks. Street tree.