Tilia cordata

Little Leaf Linden


Conestoga House & Gardens, 1608 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster PA


David Kantner


These two linden trees are good examples of pollarding, the pruning technique in which a tree’s upper branches are removed and a dense head of foliage and branches is thus promoted. This is not the same as the damaging procedure of topping trees that utilities used to practice (direc- tional pruning is now used as a healthier alternative) to resolve tree-power line conflicts.


Indeed, these lindens might actually live longer than normal because they are maintained in a partially juvenile state and because they don’t have the same weight and windage in the upper parts. Not all trees can be pollarded — some die from the procedure — but lindens typically do very well.


This amazing species, whose young leaves can be eaten as a salad vege- table, is unusually adaptable to many of the tree arts, including pollarding, bonsai and espaliering.