The tree is the most important natural source of rubber in the world. These trees are a tall tree that can grow to be 100 feet tall. They have aerial roots that come to the ground and form what appears to be more tree trunks. The Rubber tree has beautiful smooth, dark, shiny leaves, and a light shaded bark. These trees love to be in full bright lights, but will adapt if necessary to duller lighting. During the day rubber trees prefer temperatures from 21-29 degrees Celsius 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit), and at night they like temperatures from 18-23 degrees Celsius (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit). They also enjoy humid weather therefore the tropical rain forest being the prime living conditions.
The Rubber tree does not do well in conditions that are continuously changing. For example if the climate in the rain forest were to turn into a 4 season climate, like we have here in Canada, the rubber tree may go into shock and the health and beauty of the rubber tree would decline greatly and could even cause death of the tree. This would not be good for the rain forest as the security that the rubber trees aerial roots provide for other plants, such as the banana tree, would be lost. This would create a decline in other types of plants and would minimize the growth and size of the rain forest.
The youngest leaves of a bromeliad are in the centre (Photo credit: Jungle Music Net)
Most plants in the tropical rainforest have adapted to the strong sunlight, heavy rain, thin soils and dark conditions in the undergrowth. For example, some trees, such as the kapok, grow very tall because of the competition for sunlight. Also, some leaves have flexible stems so they can turn toward the sun, another adaptation is the leaves of the rubber plant that have a drip tip so that heavy rainfall can drip off the leaf quickly so that the leaves don’t become moldy. Another thing about leaves is that young leaves may be red, the redness acts as a sunscreen so the plant isn’t burnt by the strong sunlight whilst it is still developing, you can see this on the new central leaves of a bromeliad. There are also buttress roots, these are huge ridges at the base of the tree, they help the tallest of the trees to stay upright because the soil in the rainforest is actually very thin, the giant fig tree is a good example of this. Finally, most rainforest tree bark is thin and smooth, this is because it allows water to slide down easily. These are all adaptations that plants have made in order to thrive in the tropical rainforest environment.
The leaves of the rubber tree have drip tips (Photo: San Diego Zoo)
Ever Heard of the Words Rubber Tree?
Imagine a big stick thingy that produces rubber. Were you thinking a rubber tree? I didn’t think so! You might be astonished that a tree produces rubber! The rubber tree can also be known as rubberwood. The species it’s in is Havea brasiliansis.
Some of the trees will live up to be 100 years old and these trees grow to 100-130 ft. tall. The rubber tree also grows quick.
The rubber tree has milky white sap. This sap is called latex. Isn’t that cool? The tree has to be about six years old in order for the sap to be ready to come out of the trees. The rubber tree has a silvery type of bark and a rough top layer of bark. This is important because the bark helps make the latex. Thanks for reading about the rubber tree.
Rubber Tree, Rubber Tree Where do you live?
Hi, and welcome to habitat. The places the rubber tree grows in is Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. These countries are found in South America. Today they are commercially produced in South Asia and Western Africa. This means that they are being grown outside of their natural habitat in those areas.
Rubber trees are very happy in the rainforest. In a rainforest it rains all year round but the heaviest rain falls between November and April. If a rubber tree could talk, it would say, “Don’t try to take me away. I’m watching you.” Rubber trees find gaps in the canopy (top layer of the rainforest) to get closer to the sun. Isn’t that interesting? They are often found in Low altitude, moist forests. This means the trees are not very tall.
Oh, What a Life!
Did you know that the rubber tree lives a long life? As said before, rubber trees can live up to 100 years of age just like you!
When it’s ripe the fruit of the rubberwood bursts open in order to reproduce. (Be careful so it won’t explode on you…or anyone!) Reproduce means to make more and when it bursts the seeds scatter in an area up to 100 feet from the tree.
Also when the tree is about six years of age the rubber tappers can get out the latex from out of the rubber tree. Rubber tappers are people who take out the rubber from the rubber tree. Isn’t that awesome?
Hope you enjoyed learning about the long life of the rubber tree.
War Against the Rubber Tree!
There are not too many predators (something that hurts it) but there are some., in South America leaf blight is a fungus that stops the tree from growing. Another predator of the rubber tree is the Tambaqui. Tambaqui destroys the rubber tree’s seedlings and eats the nut that are left. Believe it or not but a Tambaqui is not a bird, monkey, or a squirrel, but it’s a…FISH! They also wait under the tree for the crossing seeds to fall and they eat it. Crazy right. I was even surprised. Humans carve the tree, open it, and get the latex out. But don’t worry, this does not hurt the tree.
Here are some interesting facts about the rubber tree. One fact is that there is something called a plantation tree. They started from seeds of one original tree that means each one is identical to all the other ones.
Also, some people make rubber balls and homemade shoes from the latex sap of all the rubber tree. You can also make rubber toys, oils, juices, fruits, furniture, brooms, and baskets.
Now that we know about the rubber tree, I would like to tell you about how some rubber tappers have died because they fight to save the forest. Please scroll down so then you can know how to help.
How you can help
Stop, look, and listen! Start buying things that are produced (to make something) from the rubber tree because if you buy it the rainforest won’t get shut down, but if you don’t then they will. If people aren’t buying that much stuff that’s produced from the rubber tree then it wouldn’t be useful to have it! Some people want to shut the forest down to use the land for a better use. But some people want to keep the rubber tree because it’s part of their everyday life. People who live in the rainforest make things from the tree and they sell it to make money.
Some of the rubber tappers are dying because they fight to save the forest, but if no one is buying rubber tree products the trees are not useful. The rubber tappers don’t think that’s fair so they fight to save the forest but some have ended up getting themselves killed.
Well, more than likely you can’t hop on a plane and fly to Brazil and make your own tires out of rubber, so please show your support by buying things made out of rubber!