Little-leaf linden can grow to 70 feet, but normally tops out in the 40-50 foot range. Its oval to pyramidal smoothly symmetrical form gives this lovely tree an appeal in formalized architectural plantings, as a specimen tree, and as a hardy, pollution-tolerant shade or street tree. The flowers are highly fragrant and attractive to bees. Grows well on deep, fertile, well-drained loam and clay soils with a soil pH - 5.5 to 7.5.
Along with numerous other plants, both little and big-leaf lindens are struggling to survive increasingly widespread and severe Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) infestations across the American Midwest. The beetles can skeletonize and defoliate an entire tree in just a few weeks. This poor linden at Oregon, Illinois, has ~75% of its foliage eaten during our horrendous drought of 2012 (ongoing as of January 2013..). The beetles had also attacked big-leaf Linden (Tilia platyphyllos) nearby, although the loss of foliage on that species was much less severe. In this small town (pop. 3800) along the Rock River just 33 miles south of the Wisconsin border, there are numerous linden specimens suffering.
Not only lindens, mind you; two bare-root sugar maples I planted in my yard in the fall of 2011 were about 50% skeletonized - then had all their lower branches trimmed ignominiously by my resident crazy-assed squirrels. Why do squirrels do that, anyone? They killed a weeping willow I planted in same wise - I saw this crazy bastard squirrel capering like a cat with catnip, or a March hare, wildly biting those twigs and literally turning cartwheels simultaneously. What the hell is that all about?
Of course, most plants are more vulnerable to a host of maladies and enemies when already stressed by drought or heat, but I would definitely advise against planting one of these trees where Japanese beetles are numerous.
July 11, 2012 - This little-leaf linden has lost 75% of its foliage to an ongoing beetle infestation
|Some cultivated varieties of little-leaf Linden include:|
Bicentennial Linden - Dense pyramidal and conical form.
Corinthian® Linden ‘Corzam’ - Compact pyramidal form.
Greenspire Linden - Most commonly planted cultivar, straight trunk and pyramidal form, patented.
June Bride Linden - Introduced by Manbeck Nurseries, Inc., New Knoxville, Ohio.
Morden Linden - Released by Morden Research Station in Manitoba.
Norlin™ Linden ‘Ronald’ - Hardy hybrid with rapid growth and larger leaves introduced at Jeffries Nursery Ltd.
Rancho Linden - Dense upright-oval selection.
Shamrock™ Linden (T. cordata ‘Baileyi’) - A stouter-branched, larger-leaved and faster growing hybrid
1. Edward Gilman and Dennis Watson, USDA Forest Service ST-637 "Tilia cordata Littleleaf Linden"
2. NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees
Family Tiliaceae - Basswoods, Lindens
50 genera and 400 species; widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, with relatively few species in temperate regions. Especially abundant in Southeast Asia and Brazil. The leaves of all the Tilias are heart-shaped and most are asymmetrical, and the tiny fruit, looking like peas, always hang attached to a ribbon-like, greenish bract.
Tree Encyclopedia | Tree Index | Tiliaceae Index
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