How to Grow Linden Tree & Care Guide

Consider a linden tree if you have a spacious yard with room for a medium-to-large tree to mature.

Shade plants and flowers thrive in the dappled light provided by these beautiful trees thanks to their loose canopy, which lets in just enough light for them to thrive.

Once established, linden trees require very little attention, making them ideal for beginners.

Linden Tree Info

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, linden trees can withstand a wide range of environmental stresses, making them an excellent choice for cityscape plantings.

Insects love these trees, which is a drawback. Cottony scale insects seem like fuzzy growths on the twigs and stems and leave sticky secretions on the leaves.

These insects can be difficult to manage on a tall tree, but the damage is only temporary, and the tree can start over every spring.

The following are the most common linden tree species found in North America:

  • Little-leaf linden Medium to big shade trees like Tilia cordata can be found in both formal and informal environments because of their symmetrical canopy. It is a low-maintenance plant that requires no pruning. During the summer, bees are drawn to the fragrant yellow flowers that appear in clusters on the plant. Flowers are replaced by clusters of nutlets in the late summer.
  • American linden The vast canopy of this tree, commonly known as basswood (T. Americana), makes it ideal for large holdings like public parks. The leaves are large and unappealing compared to those of the little-leaf linden. During the first few weeks of summer, bees gather nectar from the aromatic blossoms and use it to produce high-quality honey. Leaf-eating insects are also drawn to the tree, so it might become completely stripped of leaves by the end of summer. Even if the damage is permanent, leaves will grow back in the spring.
  • European linden An attractive, medium to large tree with a pyramid-shaped canopy, (T. Europaea) It can reach heights of up to 70 feet (21.5 meters). As they grow, European lindens require regular pruning to keep them looking their best.
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How to Care for Linden Trees

The best time to plant a linden tree is in the fall after the leaves have fallen, however, container-grown trees can be planted at any time of year.

Select a place with full sun or partial shade and well-drained, wet soil. The tree requires neutral to alkaline soil pH but is also tolerant of slightly acidic soils.

Place the tree into the planting hole so that its soil line is flush with the surrounding soil.

As you backfill around the roots, periodically press down with your foot to remove air pockets.

Water thoroughly after planting, and if a depression appears at the tree’s base, add more soil.

Mulch the area surrounding the linden tree with pine needles, bark, or shredded leaves.

Mulch inhibits weed growth, aids in soil moisture retention, and moderates temperature extremes. As the mulch decomposes, it supplies vital nutrients to the soil.

To avoid rot, apply 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) of mulch and draw it back a couple of inches (5 cm) from the trunk.

In the absence of rain, water newly planted trees once or twice per week for the first two to three months. Maintain wet, but not soggy, soil.

Established linden trees require watering only during extended dry spells.

Fertilize newly planted linden trees in the spring following their planting. Utilize a 2-inch (5 cm) layer of compost or a 1-inch (2.5 cm) layer of decomposed manure over an area that is approximate twice the diameter of the canopy.

You can use a balanced fertilizer, such as 16-4-8 or 12-6-6 if you like. Existing trees do not require annual fertilization.

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Fertilize only when the tree is not growing well or the leaves are small and pale, according to the instructions on the packaging.

Avoid applying lawn-specific weed and fertilizer solutions over the root zone of a linden tree.

Due to the tree’s sensitivity to herbicides, its leaves may turn brown or become misshapen.

How to Grow Little Leaf Linden

It can reach heights of 50 to 80 feet and a spread of 20 to 50 feet in a single season.

Use the appropriate amount of space.

Plant this linden species to provide shade, and blooms, and to line the street, as it is quite tolerant of pollutants from urban environments.

Light

As long as it gets two to six hours of direct sunshine each day, the little leaf linden will thrive in full sun.

Soil

A well-draining, loamy soil with organic matter mixed in is ideal for the Little Leaf Linden’s growth.

Late winter and early spring feedings promote growth and keep pests at bay.

Water

Take care not to overwater this drought-resistant tree.

Pruning

In spite of its lack of pruning requirements, this linden is very easy to cut down.

Planting in Containers

This highly adaptable type of linden is also simple to train as a bonsai tree.

Pests and Diseases to Consider

This low-maintenance tree has no severe pest or disease problems.

Verticillium wilt is rare, yet it can be fatal if it occurs. Diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf spots, blight, canker, and Anthracnose (Gnomonia tilia) should also be on your radar.

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There is a possibility that spider mites (family Tetranychidae) will arise in hot, dry weather.

Little Leaf Linden may be infested by additional pests such as beetles (Popillia japonica), borers, scales, leaf miners, lace bugs, caterpillars, aphids (Aphidae family), gall mites, Lymantria dispar, horse chestnut scale (Pulvinaria Regalis), and sawflies (suborder Symphyta).

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