Posted by shane - January 7, 2015 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Trees - No Comments

Tilia flavescens ‘Dropmore’

Tilia americana (Basswood)

Tilia cordata (Little leaf linden)

Tilia x mongolica ‘Harvest Gold’

Massive 100-year old hawthorn near the University of Alberta campus.  R. LePage photo.

Massive 100-year old linden/basswood near the University of Alberta campus. R. LePage photo.

Lindens are underutilized in Alberta, and I probably prune no nore than 1-2 specimens per year.  They have nice heart-shaped leaves, fragrant flowers, and a natural pyramidal shape.  They are relatively low-maintenance trees and after formative training need only occasional pruning.  There are several varieties that will grow in our region, but the ‘Dropmore’ linden seems to be most common.  One of the largest trees I’ve pruned in Alberta was an American linden (basswood) near the University of Alberta Campus in Edmonton.  It was about 100 years old and should be recognized as a heritage tree.  It is a very unusual sight to see on the Prairies.  When I first walked up to the tree I didn’t know what it was, until I saw the characteristic nuts at the base of the tree.


Full sun.  T. americana and ‘Harvest Gold’ will tolerate part shade.

Pruning time

Late fall until mid-spring


Train as a central leader standard with well-spaced scaffold (main) branches.  Subordinate co-dominant leaders.  Annually, or as necessary, remove dead, damaged, and redundant (crossing/rubbing) branches.

Crown Reduction & Shaping

Avoid.  Lindens are slow-growing and I don’t see many specimens over 20′ tall.   Choose a site that will accommodate the mature size of the tree.  Crown reduction would ruin the natural pyramidal form which makes lindens interesting in the landscape.


(c) 2015 Shane LePage, Wild Rose Garden & Tree Service Inc., Red Deer, AB