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Under Linden, it can sometimes be unpleasant during the summer months, because from the trees a sticky mass rains in fine droplets. In particular, parked cars, bicycles and seating are covered by the film, which is caught in the dust and pollen. On the greasy surface, after some time even soot throats can form which, when exposed to the sun, literally burn into the paint and the surfaces and can cause considerable damage. Even the asphalt is sometimes glued so that you get stuck with the soles of your shoes.
Flower nectar or honeydew?
Contrary to popular belief, the coating is not the flower nectar of linden trees, but honeydew, the excretions of aphids. At about the same time as the aphid population, the linden blossom reaches its peak - so many hobby gardeners assume it is the flower nectar that covers everything with the sticky layer. The aphids suck on the leaf veins of the linden on nutrient-rich sap. However, they mainly use the protein contained in low concentration and excrete most of the much higher concentrated sugars again. Therefore honeydew is an almost pure sugar juice. The water content evaporates very quickly in summer in dry weather and leaves behind a sticky layer of sugar. In rainy weather, the phenomenon does not occur, because heavy rain decimates the aphid population by flushing a large part of the insects from the leaves. In addition, the honeydew is diluted so much that it no longer sticks.
So-called soot thymes have specialized in the decomposition of high-energy honeydew. The mushrooms are not a uniform species, but a group of different genera with a similar lifestyle. It usually takes only a few days until the honeydew coating on leaves and vehicles turns black in some places - a sure sign that the fungi have settled on the excreta. Once this black coating has formed on the body or the windows of a car parked under the linden tree, it burns in the blazing sun and leads to stains and paint damage. Incidentally, in addition to ants, bees feed on honeydew. It is even the most important raw material for the dark, very aromatic forest honey.
In general, the winter lime (Tilia cordata) is less affected by aphids than the summer lime (Tilia platyphyllos). The silver linden (Tilia tomentosa) has slightly hairy and felty shoots and undersides of leaves, which deter the aphids. In addition to some linden trees, mountain maples and Norway maples are particularly affected by aphids in summer. The honeydew drips from them as well.
Some maples are also covered by honeydew aphids and then "drip"
Garden furniture and cars from honeydew
Especially in late spring and early summer you should not park your car or bike under Linden. If this is unavoidable, periodically remove the sticky layer from the vehicles, as well as garden furniture and other things that are under the trees, before damage to the surfaces occurs. Once sooty fungi have settled, the coating becomes very aggressive. It leads, for example, in conjunction with strong sunlight to notches and spots in the paint, which can be removed only with a costly polish again, if the car was not washed for a long time. A treatment with hard wax protects the varnish on re-infestation.
A bench under the linden should be freed from honeydew regularly, especially during the summer months and during flowering
Garden furniture should only be installed under lime trees in the summer if you actually use the seating. With warm water and biological cleaning agents, the fresh honeydew can be easily washed off.