Linden Tree Care Tips
The linden tree is widely popular for the excellent shade it provides. The tree also has several uses. Its flowers are used to make an oil widely used in cosmetics. Linden bark and wood is used to make baskets, mats, cordage, drawing boards and pianos. The tree also has medicinal value. It is used to heal sore threats, flu, cough, indigestion and skin rashes. The tree grows best in full sun areas but can handle some shade. Well-drained soils are best for propagating although the linden tolerates various soils. It is one of the few trees that grows fairly well in clay soils. It is best to plant in the spring. This will allow the seedling ample time to establish well before the winter onslaught. Below is a care guide.
Maintain a regular watering schedule for the first 2 years. This will encourage the roots to establish themselves well. Give the seedling water twice a week. Once the roots establish themselves, you can give water once weekly. The young tree requires about an inch of water every week. However, you need not water if rainfall is reliable. Be careful not to create wet soil conditions as it may encourage root rot. Periods of drought or hot weather, as in the summer, will necessitate supplemental watering.
It is a good idea to apply mulch in the summer and winter. Once the ground thaws in the spring, you can lift of the mulch. Place about 4 inches of mulch around the tree. Do not pack close to the stem as it will invite rodents. Fungal infections also develop easily when mulch is packed against the tree. Organic material such as straw or chopped leaves makes a good mulch. These further add to the soil nutrient content once decomposition sets in.
You need not fertilize while the tree is in its first 2 years. It is best to use organic manure instead. Add some into the soil when you plant. This will help add to the soil nutrients as decomposition takes place. Organic manure also encourages healthy root development. Once the roots are well established you can give a slow-acting granular fertilizer once a year. Fall is an ideal time to fertilize. It will help brace the tree for the harsh winter weather. Sprinkle fertilizer onto the ground underneath each tree up to the drip line.
In its younger stages the tree does not require much pruning. However, well-established linden trees will benefit from a regular trim. The best time to prune is in the winter. Cut undesirable branches back all the way to the trunk. Be careful not to cut into the trunk. An injured tree is more susceptible to infections and diseases. Remove any diseased, broken and awkward growing branches. Be sure to reduce the foliage as well in areas where dense growth is evident. You need not prune extensively again for another 5 years.