Amazingly tolerant of drought, urban conditions and alkaline soils, the pretty glossy dark green foliage of the hardy rubber tree casts welcome shade. An upright-branching deciduous tree from central China, it will eventually grow a canopy that is broadly domed.
The long, tapering oval leaves are attractively dark glossy green. When torn a weblike-netting of rubbery fibers is exuded from the leaf tissues. In early spring, before the leaves emerge, inconspicuous green flowers appear, male flowers on a separate plant that the female ones. Female trees will produce winged green fruits in summer. There is no fall leaf color display, but the unusual architectural form of the trunk and branches is worthwhile.
Grow hardy rubber tree in full sun in any soil that never becomes soggy. From acidic to highly alkaline in pH, the soil can be either fertile or rocky and lean so long as it is well-drained. Although always slow growing, it is best if protected from winds that can dry out the foliage and young twigs (thus potentially limiting in the American Midwest and Great Plains). In nutrient-poor soils add a top-dressing mulch to improve its qualities. Use this plant to bring welcoming shade to the concrete jungles and network of asphalt roadways as a street or shade tree. It is also great in large lawns, campus or golf course settings. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Eucommia
Species - Ulmoides
Common name - Hardy Rubber Tree
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 7
Height - 40'-55' / 12.2m - 16.8m
Spread - 25'-30' / 7.6m - 9.1m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Slow
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam, sand
Water requirements - Drought tolerant, Average Water
Landscape uses - Shade or street tree
Germination rate - 65%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Dark Green / Gray Green
|1. Soak the seeds for 12 hours. Mix with moist sterile sand or vermiculite. Place in to a ziplock bag. Secure the envelope closed to keep the seeds inside. Place the seeds in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for 90 days. Adjust the refrigerator's temperature to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (+2-4C).
2. Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and place them on the counter until they reach room temperature.
3. Bury the seeds one-quarter of the way down in a seed-starting tray filled with starter mix. Moisten the starter soil with a water spray bottle. Move the seeds to a warm location, away from direct sunlight. Keep the starter soil moist until the seeds germinate.
4. Move the seedlings to a sunny window till as they reach 3 to 4 inches in height. Cut the weakest seedlings with scissors. Leave only the strongest seedlings or only the amount you wish to plant in the landscape. Allow the seedlings to stay indoors until the last frost, regularly ensuring that the soil is moist.
5. Transplant the seedlings outdoors in the early spring, after the last frost. Plant the seedlings in full sun, away from other shrubs and trees. It can become invasive and overcrowd nearby root systems, causing poor growth or death.
Info source: eHow.com