American Linden

American Linden


SCIENTIFIC NAME:Tilia americana


This Tree in Colorado: American Linden in native in the northeast but is a hardy tree that can grow well in Colorado.

Hardiness: Zones 3 to 7

Growth rate, form and size: Large tree with a long trunk and a dense crown. The crown is often full of many small branches and large leaves. Often grows to 70 or 80 feet tall and matures in 90 to 140 years.

Foliage: 2-1/2 to 7 inches long, 2 to 6-3/4 inches wide, with a broad to wide shape and coarsely serrate along the margin. The base is unequal, giving the leaf a heart shaped, or cordate, appearance. It is significantly larger than the Littleleaf linden, which is also planted in Colorado. Fall color is yellow to orange.

Flowers: Appearing when the leaves are nearly full grown, ½ to 5/8 inches wide, borne in few-flowered cymes, on a long and slender stalk, attached to a bract.Fruit 1/4 to 3/8 inch diameter nutlet, with ribs and attached to a persistent bract.

Bark: Green or grayish on young trees, and as it matures breaks up into gray to brown narrow ridges.

Landscape value: Makes an elegant shade tree in streets and parks. When choosing a location for this tree, one should keep in mind that bees favor it and is sometimes called the “bee tree”. The wood is also a favorite in the lumber industry. Its leaves hold significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium; therefore, this tree is capable of improving soil conditions wherever it is planted.

Information sources: Harlow, Harrar, and White, Textbook of Dendrology, Seventh Edition (1991) Gerald Jonas, The Living Earth Book of North American Trees (1993)