The Linden tree is a deciduous, shade tree with a dense compact crown. Depending on species it can grow from 30-60 feet tall and 16-60 feet wide. Heart-shaped leaves can vary both in size and color: from 1 ½ inches to 4 inches long and from glossy to dull dark green, light to dark green with silver underneath. Drooping clusters of small, fragrant, yellowish- white papery bracts appear in late May to early July. Lindens are easily identified by their pyramidal shape.
Given deep, rich soil, and full sun it is xeric when established. It is a slow to moderate growing tree. Young trees need staking and shaping; while older trees only need corrective pruning. They are visited by few destructive insects although you can expect bees during the flowering season.
Lindens are great for lawn, patio, and street planting. Of the seven species of linden grown in this country, the Littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata) is the most commonly available and best-suited for home situations. The leaves remain green on the tree long after other trees have shed.
Contributed by Nadine Salmons, Colorado Master Gardener. For answers to your horticultural questions, contact the Master Gardener Help Desk at 636.8921 or CSUmg2@elpasoco.com.
Photo courtesy of Leslie Holzmann.