G6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees | Page 14 | University of Missouri Extension

Revised June 2008

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Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Linden (Tilia spp.)

Medium-sized trees


  • Maximum height
    30 to 60 feet
  • Relative growth rate
  • Freedom from insect pests
  • Freedom from disease problems
  • Resistance to storm damage
  • Will grow on poorly drained soil
  • Will grow in hot, dry areas
  • Easy to transplant
  • Withstands city conditions

The lindens as a group are some of our best shade trees. Their small flowers produced in early summer are not especially ornamental, but they are highly fragrant. The small, round seed is born on an interesting leafy bract that hangs on the tree well into the winter. Of the seven species of linden grown in this country, the little-leaved linden (Tilia cordata) is the most commonly available. The leaves of this species remain green on the tree long after other trees have shed theirs. Lindens have few insect or disease pests.

Improved varieties of linden include 'Green-spire,' a straight-trunked tree that rapidly grows into a narrow oval form; 'Chancellor,' with a narrow, compact, upright growth habit; and 'Redmond,' a densely pyramidal tree.

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