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Hardy Rubbertree (Eucommia ulmoides)

This plant has lovely dark green glossy foliage that persists during the growing period even through drought. Plants are very tolerant of urban situations except compacted soils. The plant is somewhat pH adaptable. Moderate size is a significant asset to urban planners. (see photos below)

Hardy rubbertree has a tendency to form codominant leaders. These weak branch angles may become structurally unstable and fail. Pruning as a young plant can reduce or alleviate this problem. Male plants can be selected to eliminate fruit but the fruit has not been a concern. This tree prefers full sun, except in cases where it is under stress. Cold hardy seed sources are needed for the Midwest.

Ohio Shade Tree Project tests with hardy rubber tree have shown that while the plant generally did well, in areas where heavy soil compaction is a problem, hardy rubber trees showed decline, particularly when planted in high light situations. In these cases, if planted in an area where lawn trees, buildings or other modest shade sources exist, the plant should do better. The plant has also done well in shaded planters on the Ohio State University Campus. More urban testing is needed.

For More information, check out the Ohio Street Tree Evaluation Project.

Ohio Hardy Rubbertrees Ohio Paw Paws
Hardy Rubber Trees in Cleveland, Ohio. Photos courtesy of OSU dept. of Urban Forestry
(If you have a photo of these trees in an urban environment that you would like to donate for use on this site, please contact the webmaster.)

Shade Tree Home Page
T. Davis Sydnor, Ph. D. and Nick E. D'Amato
Urban Forestry Department
School of Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
2021 Coffey Road,
Columbus OH 43210
(614) 292-3865