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Hardy rubber-tree

Leaves of hardy rubber-tree.
Hardy rubber-tree, a native of China, can be used in the landscape as a shade tree. It has an attractive round to broad-spreading form and during summer, the thick leaves are a very glossy green.

Botanical name:

Eucommia ulmoides

All common names:

Hardy rubber-tree, Hardy rubber tree

Family (English):

Hardy Rubber Tree

Family (Botanic):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks,
  • City parkway,
  • Wide median,
  • Restricted sites

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Parkway/street,
  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

Mature Height:

40-60 feet

Mature Width:

30-50 feet

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Wet sites,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

Acid Soils:

  • Tolerant

Alkaline Soils:

  • Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Tolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Tolerant

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Inconspicuous

Shape or Form:

  • Broad,
  • Round

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

Transplants Well:

  • No

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

This is a very low maintenance tree.
Best in full sun, pH soil tolerant.
Drought tolerant.
Branches can be prone to storm damage.

Disease, pests, and problems

No common problems.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to China.

Bark color and texture 

The bark is gray brown, ridged and furrowed.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, simple leaves resemble the leaves of elm, but are dark green and glossy.  The leaf when torn exhibits a elastic, rubber substance used to make rubber.
There is little to no color change in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Male and female flowers are on separate trees (dioecious). 

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

The fruit is a seed enclosed in a waxy wing capsule.

Cultivars and their differences

Emerald Point™ Hardy Rubber Tree (Eucommia ulmoides 'Empozam'):  A columnar, upright , narrow oval tree reaching 30-40 feet high and 15 feet wide. Seedless.

Location of Eucommia ulmoides (Hardy rubber-tree) at the Arboretum