Linden, Linden tree

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The genus of linden (Tilia) includes about 40 species (15 species are native to China) and comes from the family Linden Family (Tiliaceae). Since Linden like to intersect, there are also numerous hybrid forms. In Europe, especially the summer, winter and silver lime are relevant. The linden tree is the Germans favorite tree: It is sung in folk songs and plays an important role in myths. Often linden trees are eponymous for streets, squares and inns. In addition, linden flowers are popular healing ingredients in teas and infusions.

Appearance and growth

Depending on the species, the linden tree grows between 15 and 40 meters high. The branches pointing upwards form an imposing, arched treetop over a straight trunk. The heart shape of the two-line alternately arranged leaves is characteristic and is interpreted in popular mythology as a symbol of love. In winter, the linden loses its foliage.

Linden, linden tree

Lime trees develop over time into powerful big trees

Every year the summer starts with the linden blossom. The sweetish scent of the flowers, especially in the evenings, beguiles bees and bumblebees. They are therefore an important bee pasture for beekeepers. Later, the flowers of the linden tree develop into pea-sized fruits in which the seeds sit. Falling off the tree, the narrow bract looks like a grand piano. The wind carries away the seeds and helps to spread the trees. Linden trees are getting very old. In many places in Germany are striking single trees, some of them over 500 years old, with a correspondingly powerful appearance and a long history.

Location and ground

Linden trees thrive best in a bright and sunny spot. You need a well-drained soil. The pH should be as neutral as possible.

heart-shaped leaves of linden

The leaves of the linden are heart-shaped


Linden trees are planted in autumn before the first frosts arrive. Choose a location where the tree has enough space and light on all sides. Attention: During the flowering season linden trees are increasingly affected by aphids, which secrete honeydew in large numbers, which drips off the trees. Therefore, especially under summer lime trees, you should not plan a parking space or pool. Loosen compacted soil with sand and raise a planting hole in double bale size. Before and after planting, the linden must be well watered. In the first year, support the newly planted tree with posts against falling over and cover the tree disc with some twigs in the first winter.

care Tips

A freshly laid linden tree needs irrigation in the first months on hot days in order to root well. Later, the tree provides itself. Young linden trees can still be implemented after a while, if the stand turns out to be not ideal.

Shape cut linden

Lime trees can be formed into a beautiful, opaque hedge, as here in Hampton Court

To cut

Linden trees actually grow to big trees. But properly educated and held with the scissors in the bridle, they span a shady umbrella over the seat or frame the garden as a high trellis. Linden is the ideal material for large hedges, box shapes and trellises. In a row planting arise geometric tree walls. The trees are best brought into shape once a year in the late winter with an electric hedge trimmer. Linden are very cut tolerant and react with strong renewal. Their ability to rejuvenate and rejuvenate quickly makes the trees survive many setbacks.


As a house and farm tree, the linden has a long tradition, fits due to the rapid growth and size but only on large plots. However, garden nurseries now also have smaller varieties on offer, such as the winter linden Tilia cordata 'Rancho', which grows quite slowly and only reaches about ten meters in height. If the tree is to shade a seat or parking lot, the silver lime tree is recommended. It is not so heavily attacked by aphids and it drips so less sticky honeydew. Linden trees offer wind and privacy protection in the shape of a box, while their roof-shaped cut provides shade at the seat. In forestry, however, the linden tree is not particularly popular because the soft wood can not sell well. Woodturners, instrument makers and sculptors, on the other hand, appreciate it because it is easy to work with and does not tear.

lime blossom tea

Linden flower tea is a popular drink for sore throat and cold

Important types

In Central Europe, there are naturally only two, though very similar Linden species: the summer and winter lime trees (Tilia platyphyllos and Tilia cordata).Leaves and stems are all around a fine down in the summer-lime tree, while only the underside of the linden-tree is hairy. The former reaches up to 40 meters in height, the winter linden remains about ten feet smaller. With its high-crowned and tightly closed crown, the summer lime tree looks more imposing than the smaller sisters. However, summer and winter lime cross and their offspring can often not be clearly assigned.
The silver lime (Tilia tomentosa), originating from southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, recognizable by the bright undersides of the leaves, is only about 25 meters high and is much more resistant to dust and fumes. It is therefore increasingly planted as a park and avenue tree in cities. The silver lime flowers a little later than the native species. The well-known Crimean lime (Tilia x echlora) is a cross between winter linden (Tilia cordata) and black sea linden (Tilia dasystyla). With a height of 18 meters, it remains rather small and its crown is narrow, which makes it ideal for large gardens or urban greenery.

linden blossoms

Lime blossoms magically attract bees and bumblebees


Lime trees are very prolific. They propagate vegetatively by cane rash or brood. Generatively, the linden tree proliferates and spreads over seeds that the wind carries over long distances.

Diseases and pests

There are several pests that have specialized in linden, such as the linden clad beetle, the linden spider mite or the linden leaf wasp. In addition, almost all linden species and varieties are attacked by aphids in early summer. These feed on the vegetable juice and excrete honeydew. The sugary secretion usually falls from June in fine droplets to the ground and lays as a thin, sticky film on garden furniture and parked cars. The lowest aphid infestation is found in silver lime trees (Tilia tomentosa), while winter lime trees (Tilia cordata) and Crimean linden trees (Tilia euchlora) are relatively weakly affected. At the root of Linden or Robinia occurring black-red colored fire bugs do not damage the tree. The rumor that linden trees are poisonous to insects, especially bumblebees, is wrong.

Symptoms Lindengallmilbe

In an infestation with the Lindengallmilbe form noticeable red croissants on the leaf top

Linden as a cultural founder

Not only at the fountain in front of the gate is a linden tree. In many villages, an old lime tree also forms the central meeting point in the center. In the past, law was spoken here ("court linden") and to this day people like celebrating in their shadow. Chapels and crosses are often lined with majestic trees in the fields and fields. These traditions go back a long way, even among the Teutons, the linden was considered a sacred tree, under which they gathered. In many fairy tales, folk songs and poems, the linden appears, in the shadow of her heart-shaped leaves, many a romantic rendezvous took place. In today's cities, however, the domestic linden feel less well. Heat, fumes and dust bother them. As street trees, therefore, more robust species such as the silver-lime native to Southeastern Europe are preferred.

The healing power of linden

For LindenblĆ¼tentee, a classic home remedy for colds, collect the flowers shortly after blooming and dry them together with the narrow, belonging to the inflorescence bracts. The tea should draw for about ten minutes. Honey of lime blossom is light, fluid and tastes fruity-sweet. The bees also collect honeydew on linden, that is, the excretions of aphids. The resulting honey is darker and more aromatic. Linden honey is as well as the tea attributed to healing. When used externally linden flowers help against inflammation of the skin and bags under the eyes. For an oil tincture, draw 10 grams in 100 milliliters of sunflower oil for two weeks. Then massage the affected areas with it.

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