One of our most beautiful trees, with an impressive shape, strongly scented flowers and elegant foliage. A British native, the Small Leaved Lime was the predominant tree in English woodlands until the Saxon period, when other trees became more dominant. A much better tree than the more commonly planted non-native Tilia x europaea. Its shape is reminiscent of the English Elm, and it is now more often planted to replace trees lost to Dutch Elm disease.
Site and soil
Any well-drained fertile soil in sun or shade. Especially good on chalky soils and in towns. Avoid exposed windy sites.
Height and spread
Below are the approximate stages of growth, assuming sited in suitable conditions for this species;
After 10 years: 6m x 4m After 20 years: 12m x 6m
Leaf and bark
The leaves are heart-shaped and smaller than other limes at 8cm long. They are dark green above, blue-green beneath with distinctive tufts of brown hairs in the leaf axils. They turn yellow in autumn. The bark is smooth and grey, developing cracks and flakes as the tree ages.
Flower, seed and fruit
The pale yellow sweetly scented flowers are borne in small clusters in midsummer at the end of a slender stalk. They are followed by the small (1.2cm) elliptic, downy fruits.
Woodland, parks, gardens, avenues, street-side planting, pleached hedges. The very light wood is valued for carving, because it is so easy to work; most of the Grinling Gibbons carvings in St Paul’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle and Chatsworth are in lime wood. The bark has been used to make matting, baskets and fishing nets. The flowers are employed medicinally, and are perhaps best known for making the sedative Lime-flower Tea, also known as Linden Tea.
Bees are attracted to the strongly scented flowers and Lime-flower honey is said to have the best flavour of any. A range of other insects are also to be found on the tree.
The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:
When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golden rule is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.
Vole, Mice 20cm
Roe Deer, Muntjac 1.20m
Fallow Deer 1.50m
Pest & Minimum Protection Height
Protection Type Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.