Tough conditions seem to bounce off this tough shade tree. Not only are they extremely tolerant of drought, insects and disease seem to keep their distance as well. The Hardy Rubber tree has lovely, elongated, glossy leaves that can get up to 8’’ long that even in the harshest conditions, retain their elegant green foliage. Another perk specific to New Jersey is that they can thrive in many soil environments, including heavy clay as long as adequate drainage is provided. Not only is the bark and sap processed to make natural latex, it has also been used in Chinese medicine for alleviating pain, strengthening joints and bones, and rejuvenating kidney and liver health.