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Gardening with George Weigel

Answers to your gardening questions and other tips by George Weigel.

Last Build Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:08:31 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2017

A shade tree that the bees love: George's Plant Pick of the Week

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:00:47 UTC


This week's plant pick is the little-leaf linden, a shade tree with mild fragrance that the bees love.

Here's PennLive garden writer George Weigel's Plant Pick of the Week for this week:

* Common name: Little-leaf linden

* Botanical name: Tilia cordata

* What it is: A durable, European-native shade tree with somewhat heart-shaped green leaves and creamy, mildly fragrant spring flowers that are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. The tree also gets small winged nutlets in late summer. Habit is pyramidal, but narrow varieties are available. Fall color is a non-showy pale yellow-green.

* Size: 50 feet tall, 35 feet across in 25 years. A medium-fast grower.

* Where to use: Little-leaf linden tolerates urban conditions well, and it'll grow even in fairly poor soil, although it prefers good drainage and loose soil. Grows best in full sun as a shade tree in mid-sized to large yards.

* Care: Keep soil consistently damp in first year or two until the roots are established, then little or no water needed. No fertilizer needed either. This is a low-maintenance plant. Just prune off any excess or crossing branches in the early years and, if desired, remove lower limbs as tree grows.

* Great partner: Once tree creates a shade-giving canopy, plant around base with a root-tolerant groundcover, such as hosta, liriope, barrenwort or pachysandra. Russian cypress or spreading English yew 'Repandens' makes a good, low evergreen underplanting.

See George's Plant Profiles for more on hundreds of past plant picks of the week.

George's 170 most recommended plants for Pennsylvania gardens are profiled in his "Pennsylvania Getting Started Garden Guide" book.

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