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How to Plant a Linden Tree

By Katelyn Lynn ; Updated September 21, 2017

The linden tree (Tilia) is also known as the basswood tree. It belongs to a group of trees that are found growing predominantly throughout portions of the Midwest and southern United States. Linden trees are deciduous trees that can reach as tall as 60 to 80 feet depending on the variety. Although not particularly drought-tolerant, the linden tree is often used in commercial-type planting along roads and in parking lots for quick-growing shade trees. You can plant a linden tree any time of the year, but for best success plant during the winter when the trees are in their dormant period.

Choose where you want to plant the linden tree. Depending on the variety you are planting, a good location will be in full sun to partial shade, as suggested by Floridata.com. Keep in mind linden trees need ample room to grow, so the planting site should be about 30 to 50 feet away from other trees.

Cultivate and loosen the soil in the planting site using a shovel, a pick or a garden fork. Loosen the soil to about 18 to 24 inches deep.

Dig a planting hole for the linden tree that is approximately 14 inches wide by 16 inches deep if planting from a one-gallon pot. If planting from a three- or five-gallon pot, dig the planting hole approximately 18 inches wide by 24 inches deep. If planting a ball-and-burlap linden tree, dig the hole three times the width of the root ball and approximately its same depth.

Incorporate into the soil you removed from the planting hole organic matter such as aged steer manure, well-rotted leaf mold or compost. If you are planting a linden tree growing in a one-gallon pot, use one to two shovelfuls of the organic matter. For linden trees growing in three- or five-gallon pots, use approximately 1/2 of a five-gallon bucket of organic matter. Work the amendment into the soil thoroughly using a shovel or a fork.

Remove the linden tree from its planting pot. For one- or three-gallon pots, lay the pot on the ground. Use a hammer, or mallet, and strike down along the rim of the pot until you can wiggle the pot free from the root system. For five-gallon pots, use a pair of stout snips to cut along the sides of the pot until you can free it from the root system.

Plant the linden tree into the planting hole. If planting a ball-and-burlap tree, cut off the tie holding the burlap to the trunk of the tree. Peel back the burlap to expose half the root ball. Scoop soil into the planting hole until it is filled with soil.

Scoop soil around the linden tree to create a 3- to 4-inch-high circular dam of dirt that is approximately 24 inches in diameter. Fill up the dam with water slowly so it has time to reach down to the roots.


Things You Will Need

  • Linden tree
  • Shovel
  • Soil amendment
  • Hammer or mallet
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Snips


  • Water the linden tree during the summer season if there is no supplemental rainfall. Let the water run slowly each time you water so it can soak down to the root system.

About the Author


Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University and has extensive experience in botany and horticulture.