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Linden, Littleleaf Tilia cordata

Littleleaf Linden - Tilia cordata
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The tree grows in sun or partial shade, will tolerate alkaline soil if it is moist, and it transplants well. It is not particularly tolerant of drought, scorching at the leaf margins in summer drought. But this apparently does little long-term harm. It is more tolerant of heat and compact soil than American Basswood. Many communities plant Linden along the streets due to its rapid growth rate and dense, symmetrical crown but Littleleaf Linden is sensitive to road salt. There are a number of cultivars with a variety of habits.

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Zones 3 - 7 Zones 3 - 7
Hardiness Zones 3 - 7
The Littleleaf Linden can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Flowering Tree Flowering Tree
Type of tree
Flowering Trees, Ornamental Trees, Shade Trees
50' - 60' High 50' - 60' High
Mature Height
The Littleleaf Linden grows to be 50' - 60' feet in height.
40' Spread 40' Spread
Mature Spread
The Littleleaf Linden has a spread of about 40' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This linden does well in full sun, partial shade.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The Littleleaf Linden grows in acidic, alkaline, moist, rich, sandy, well drained, wet, clay soils.
Oval Shape Oval Shape
Shape
This linden has oval, pyramidal shape.
Attributes

The Littleleaf Linden is a wonderful shade tree with a pleasing form and lustrous dark-green leaves.

Description

The tree grows in sun or partial shade, will tolerate alkaline soil if it is moist, and it transplants well. It is not particularly tolerant of drought, scorching at the leaf margins in summer drought. But this apparently does little long-term harm. It is more tolerant of heat and compact soil than American Basswood. Many communities plant Linden along the streets due to its rapid growth rate and dense, symmetrical crown but Littleleaf Linden is sensitive to road salt. There are a number of cultivars with a variety of habits.

Wildlife Value

The flowers of the Littleleaf Linden attract bees and hummingbirds and the soft wood often provides nesting sites for cavity-dwelling birds.

History/Lore/Use

The lumber from the Linden is light and strong, often used for wooden spoons and other utensils and in inexpensive furniture. It is also used for beehives and honeycomb frames. The blossoms themselves can be used for tea. This tree is related to jute, which is in the tropical genus Corchorus.

Moisture

The Littleleaf Linden grows well in moist soils, but does not do well in wet areas or in severe drought.

Leaves

The Littleleaf Linden has leaves that go from light green to glossy dark green as the season wears on. Each leaf is about 2-1/2 inches across.

Flower Color

This tree produces bright yellow flowers that are very fragrant and attractive against the dark green leaves.

Bloom Time

The Littleleaf Linden blooms in early summer.

Fruit Description

The fruit of this Linden is similar to a peppercorn in size and shape and is light tan in color.