En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Over-trimming of native linden tree

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

Effect of unusual wet weather on desert willows
July 23, 2007 - I live in North Central Texas and have 3 beautiful Desert willow trees that are usually in full bloom. I've kept them pruned to form a nice full tree shape but now they are losing leaves and looking ...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Juniperus ashei for making furniture
June 18, 2007 - My husband uses juniper from Oregon to make beautiful furniture. Underneath the ugly bark is a wonderful wood. Is this the same Juniper as we saw all around Austin, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) trees, concern about cultivars
February 06, 2008 - I would like to place some yaupon in the perimeter areas of my yard. I own other rural property that has an abundance of yaupon and was considering trying to transplant some small bushes. Is yaupon ...
view the full question and answer

Tag on oak tree in Buda, TX
April 02, 2008 - I found a large oak tree on my property with a tag that has a number on it. Any idea what that means?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Desert willows in El Paso, TX
August 27, 2009 - We have some volunteer Desert Willows growing on an empty lot nearby. Can we dig them up and transplant them in the yard? If so, how? They are about 3-4 feet tall
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center