Linden Tree Common Lime -Root and Branch

linden tree blossoms
The Lime is a tall growing well shaped tree which is often grown along avenues and public places in the UK. The flowers have an exquisite fragrance.

Key Features of the Common Lime

  • Latin name – Tilia Europaea, other common names Linden tree or Basswood
  • Height – Can grow over 150 feet tall one of the UK’s tallest trees
  • Type of tree – deciduous – dictoyledons
  • Leaves – Thin, green and heart shaped with a tapering tip and fine teeth. Lighter green underneath
  • Flowers – Highly scented pale yellow-green with green bracts at the base. Flower in clusters
  • Fruit – Woody round drupe covered with grey-brown hairs dispersed on the wind by wings.
  • Bark – Grey with shallow fissures when mature
  • Family -Tiliaceae

Origins and Distribution of the Common Lime

  • The tree is widely cultivated throughout Europe.
  • Linden trees are now popular in North America.

Lime tree frost 060131

Uses and Attributes of the Common Lime

  • The common lime can be pleached or coppiced and used as fuel.
  • The white close grained wood is used for fine carving as well as hop-poles, bean-sticks, hat blocks, piano keys, bowls and morris dancing sticks!
  • They are used as an ornamental tree in large parks or estates.
  • The fibrous layer of under-bark called ‘bast’ was historically twisted into ropes.
  • The flowers are used to make a tisane and have medicinal properties

Gardeners Tips for the Common Lime

  • Characteristic large burrs are covered in leaf shoots and there is a tendency to produce unsightly suckers.
  • The tree drops a sticky substance so do not park your car underneath a Lime.
  • The scent of flowers and the attraction of bees out weighs the problem of aphids, that cause the sticky droppings.
  • Leaves turn yellow or brown in autumn

Biking down Lime Tree Avenue in the Autumn

Other types of Common Lime and Tilia

  • The common lime is a hybrid between Tilia cordata and Tilia platyphyllos.
  • The American Lime is shorter but with larger leaves.
  • Tilia dasytyla is medium sized with redish twigs
  • Tilia tomentosa also called the Silver Lime for the underside of the leaves. They look spectacular blowing a slight breeze.

Lime Comparison
2nd tree from left is standard lime, 2nd tree from right is small-leaved lime

Common Lime comments from elsewhere

  • “The Linden Tree” is a play written by Bradford-born novelist and playwright J.B. Priestley..
  • Common Lime attracts wildlife to feed or nest. It is an all-round tough plant suitable for problem areas, fast growing screening, hedging or topiary. Tolerates full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils, cold exposed locations and even heavy clay soils.

Read about our series on British tree reviews with a bakers dozen fact sheets

Credits
Biking down Lime Tree Avenue in the Autumn by ebygomm, CC BY-NC 2.0
“Lime Comparison by Kathy Bragg, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Lime tree frost 060131 by Eva the Weaver CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
“linden tree blossoms by not on your nelly CC BY-NC 2.0


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