Characteristics of Small-leaved Linden Tree (Tilia cordata) in the Wild

Tilia cordata
Small-leaved Linden or Pry (Tilia cordata) is a tree species native to Europe. The tree grows naturally in England, Europe, and West Asia. In the southern region, their habitat is limited and can only be found in the highlands.

In England, Small-leaved Linden is traditionally called Pry and is considered an indicator of an ancient forest. This tree is classified as an endangered species. Due to their scarcity, several Pry logs have been given SSSI status.

Small-leaved Linden in northern England was found to have grown when the climate was warmer and had adapted to colder climates. Paleobotany analysis of tree pollen preserved in peat deposits indicates that Pry trees were present in the forests of the southern Lake District in 3100 BC.

The tree called “Najevnik Linden Tree” in the hills south of Črna na Koroškem in the Carinthia region of northern Slovenia is estimated to be 700-800 years old with a trunk circumference of about 8 meters and a height of 25 meters. It is one of the largest and oldest Small-leaved Linden trees to date. this.

Several Small-leaved Linden cultivars have earned the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Among them:

  • Tilia cordata ‘Corinthian’
  • Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’
  • Tilia cordata ‘June Bride’
  • Tilia cordata ‘Winter Orange’

 
Small-leaved Linden trees are widely planted in places with moderate climates as ornamental trees in gardens or large yards. This tree was chosen because it displays leaves with attractive colors in autumn, and mainly because the tree doesn’t grow too tall. Small-leaved Linden is also a great choice for making bonsai from European trees or deciduous trees.

In Central, Southern, and Western European countries, this tree flower is used as a traditional herbal medicine which is made into herbal teas which are Linden Tea in England, and Tilleul in France.

 

Characteristics of Small-leaved Linden Leaf

Tilia cordata Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Universität Göttingen

The leaves are arranged alternately, heart-shaped or ovate, 3-8 cm long and wide.

 

Characteristics of Small-leaved Linden Flower

Tilia cordata Flower
Source: flickr.com/Michael

The flowers are small, yellow to green, produced in groups 5-11 in early summer with a distinctive fragrant aroma. When the flowers are blooming, many animals such as butterflies and bees come to this tree.

 

Characteristics of Small-leaved Linden Fruit

Tilia cordata Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Kate Field

The nut-like fruit, 6-7 mm long and 4 mm wide, contains 1-2 seeds, brown seeds, downy initially becomes smooth as it matures, is very thin, and opens easily.

 

Characteristics of Small-leaved Linden Tree

Tilia cordata Tree
Source: flickr.com/blasjaz

Small-leaved Linden can grow 30-40 meters tall, with a trunk diameter of 1-1.5 meters. The bark is smooth and grayish when young, hard with vertical ridges and horizontal gaps as the tree grows old. The branches are erect and their density increases with age.

This tree grows well in USDA Zones 3-7 with a soil pH of about 5.0-8.0. The tree tolerates clay, sandy soils, and moist soils (but cannot withstand waterlogging or flooding). Inactive small-leaved Linden can withstand winter freezing temperatures as low as −34 °C.

 

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