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Linden Tree Pests

The deciduous American linden (Tilia Americana), a popular ornamental shade tree, grows to a height of 60 to 100 feet. The tree often suffers insect infestations, but they pose no real danger to a healthy specimen. Mice and voles can girdle the tree and result in its death in areas of heavy weed infestations.

Foliage Damage

Infestations of defoliating insect pests is common on the linden tree. The spring cankerworm (Paleacrita vernata), forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria), linden looper (Erannis tiliaria), basswood leaf miner (Baliosus nervosus), white-marked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma), fall cankerworm (Alsophila pometaria), and the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) all cause foliage damage to the tree, but are not a serious threat. Scale infestations can also occur on the tree's stems, which can cause the foliage to wilt.

Warning

The most serious insect pest of the tree is the linden borer (Saperda vestita). The insect bores long tunnels into the base of the tree. A heavy infestation can seriously weaken a young, old or sickly tree. The tree may die if the insects are allowed to flourish.

Considerations

Aphids tend to be a constant problem on linden trees. They do very little damage to the tree, but when they occur in great abundance, they secrete a honeydew like substance that quickly molds. The black mold looks unattractive on the tree's foliage and stems. It also falls to the ground in a fine powder, and can cover walkways, other plants, garden furniture and automobiles beneath the tree.

Prevention/Solution

Maintain the tree's overall health to lessen the impact of insect pests. Water and fertilize the linden regularly. A stressed tree is more susceptible to insects. If a tree suffers from a heavy pest infestation, utilize insecticides to gain control.

Linden Tree Facts

Of the several species of linden trees grown in the United States, the American linden, or basswood (Tilia americana), is the only U.S. native. A slow grower,, the American linden generally reaches a maximum height of 80 feet but may exceed that measurement, depending upon soil fertility. The bark of a young linden is gray and relatively smooth; it becomes more deeply furrowed over time. The leaves appear in late spring and are followed by clusters of fragrant, yellow flowers that attract bees. You can avoid damage to your linden by watering it deeply at the first sign of this condition, which appears as dry, brown edges on otherwise healthy leaves. In order to combat aphids, spray the tree's affected leaves with a solution containing 2 tablespoons of neem oil and 1 gallon of water. The solution can be applied every seven to 14 days until the aphids are gone. Although leaf and seed litter from American linden does not pose a significant problem, the tree's large spreading root system can threaten nearby structures, drainage systems and other plants. The tree's roots sometimes produces sprouts that should be removed.

Linden Tree Facts

Of the several species of linden trees grown in the United States, the American linden, or basswood (Tilia americana), is the only U.S. native. A slow grower,, the American linden generally reaches a maximum height of 80 feet but may exceed that measurement, depending upon soil fertility. The bark of a young linden is gray and relatively smooth; it becomes more deeply furrowed over time. The leaves appear in late spring and are followed by clusters of fragrant, yellow flowers that attract bees. You can avoid damage to your linden by watering it deeply at the first sign of this condition, which appears as dry, brown edges on otherwise healthy leaves. In order to combat aphids, spray the tree's affected leaves with a solution containing 2 tablespoons of neem oil and 1 gallon of water. The solution can be applied every seven to 14 days until the aphids are gone. Although leaf and seed litter from American linden does not pose a significant problem, the tree's large spreading root system can threaten nearby structures, drainage systems and other plants. The tree's roots sometimes produces sprouts that should be removed.

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