Softwood Cutting Propagation of Eucommia ulmoides
The name Eucommia (eu, well and kommi, gum) is an illusion to the quality of the rubber contained in all parts. Eucommia ulmoides better known as hardy rubber tree is interesting because it is about the only rubber tree that grows and overwinters outdoors this far north. When leaves are torn gently across, the threads of rubber remain and can be easily seen. At the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton two hardy rubber trees have been diligently guarding our east driveway entrance to our center since 1956.
The bark of Eucommia when first discovered in China around 1900 was being used in a medicinal tonic by the Chinese people. Today, rubber yields are found to be too low and difficult to extract compared to the great tropical rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis, thus eliminating it from commercial rubber production. In appearance the tree resembles a 40 ft elm showing off 3-in. long, glossy, alternate, sharply toothed, pest- and disease-free leaves. The plant is dioecious
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