Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata)

Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata)

Tilia cordata, or Littleleaf Linden, is a medium-large shade tree with a lovely symmetrical canopy popular in many formal or home landscapes. It’s a low-maintenance tree that requires little pruning. In the summer it produces yellow flowers with a very pleasant smell.

In late summer, the flowers are replaced by clusters of small nuts.

It Can Live for a 1000 Years

This tree grows to a height of 50-60 feet, and its spread can reach 40 feet around maturity. It usually increases 13-24 inches per year, and generally reaches maturity in 15-20 years. It lives to quite considerable ages, sometimes well over 1000 years with the right conditions.

How Do You Plant It?

This tree prefers rather moist conditions, but curiously it does not grow well in wet areas, nor can it survive severe droughts. It can be planted in acidic, moist, rich, or clay soils successfully.

If you plant a Littleleaf Linden, you will have to water it once a week for the first few months, especially if there is no rain, and fertilize the following spring. Once it's grown, this tree requires less maintenance. Because it doesn’t grow very big, it can be successfully planted even in limited spaces. You should consider an area with a lot of sunlight. These trees can survive some shade, but they need at least four hours a day in the bright sun.

It Has a Rich Symbolism

The earliest evidence of the littleleaf linden being planted goes back as far as 760 A.D. in the Germanic and Norse countries in Europe. The tree was considered the favorite of Freya, the goddess of love and a ward against elves and fairies. It is also one of the most popular ornamental trees in New York, where around 4.7% of all public trees are littleleaf linden.


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