En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Thursday - November 06, 2008

From: Evanston, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Over-trimming of native linden tree
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, My huge beautiful linden tree was just way over trimmed. It is planted near the house, so they cut most of the branches on that side all the way back to the trunk. I now have half of a tree. The arborist is claiming some new growth will fill it in come Spring. Is that correct or am I now the sad owner of half of a tree? Thank you so much for your help!!!

ANSWER:

Tilia americana var. heterophylla (American basswood), native to Illinois, is a very large tree, often with sprouts coming up at the base making a grove.  It can grow to 60 to 90 feet in height, sometimes higher, with width up to half that. So, our feeling is that maybe the tree is simply too close to the house. The way it was trimmed is unfortunate, but the branches may have been actually in contact with the siding, which is never good. Not only that, but the roots of that tree are probably well under your foundation. Obviously, there's not anything you can do about the tree's position now, but it is something to keep in mind the next time a tree is planted. Some new growth will no doubt come out on that side, but it is always going to be lopsided, we're afraid. We don't know how old or how big the tree is now, but possibly, over time, the lower branches all the way around could be trimmed up, giving the tree a taller trunk, which seems to be the way the tree grows naturally. 

Read this article from Floridata on Tilia Americana for more information and pictures.

 

More Trees Questions

Replacements for photinia from San Antonio
August 31, 2012 - i just read your response to someone regarding Red Tip shrubs. You just saved me thousands of dollars ! I was getting ready to order over 250 of these to line my 2.5 acre fence line. What shrub would ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
May 29, 2009 - How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
view the full question and answer

Tree for sound block near Houston
April 24, 2010 - I live in Pearland, just south of Houston and am looking for a tree that I can plant along my fenceline between my neighbor and me that will block noise. We have a pool and entertain a lot, but they a...
view the full question and answer

Growth rate of the American beech tree from West Hartford CT
May 25, 2010 - What is the growth rate of an American beech tree?
view the full question and answer

Source for dwarf red mulberry from Spring Hill TN
December 08, 2012 - Hello: Where can I buy a dwarf red mulberry tree in the USA? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center