Little Leaf Linden

Tilia cordata


This round-crowned shade tree has a neat, somewhat formal appearance and heart-shaped leaves. Its small creamy-white flowers are fragrant in summer, but not very noticeable. It has yellow to golden fall color.


The Little Leaf Linden is well suited to a moist but not soggy lawn. Like any blooming tree, it may attract bees for the 2 to 3 weeks when it is blooming. It is very popular as a street tree in its native Europe, where its flowers are collected and used to make tea.


Note that any tree grown in a lawn may develop surface roots unless irrigation is properly managed. Tree roots need both air and water in the root zone. Lawns are frequently overwatered, resulting in water-logged soil with no air in the root zone. Check your tree’s root zone to see if it is water-logged or too dry. The best method is to dig a small hole about 12 inches deep and look at the soil: if it is bone dry, there is not enough water; if it is muddy, there is too much water; if it is moist like a cake, it is just right. Alternatively, you can use an inexpensive moisture meter from your nursery or hardware store and look for a “moist” reading.

Little Leaf Linden

Height: 30 to 45 feet
Spread: 25 to 35 feet
Growth Rate: moderate

Irrigation needed: medium water; can survive with less, but looks best with medium water
Fall Color: yellow
Flowers:  creamy-white fragrant clusters in summer
Seeds/Fruit: 1/8-inch pea-like seeds attached to a small papery “wing” in late summer

Planting Distances
Front of green utility box: 8 feet
Building, swimming pool: 15 feet
Fence, paving, underground utilities: 6 feet
Overhead, high voltage lines: 20 feet

Fall Color