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How to Prune a Linden Tree

By Elton Dunn ; Updated September 21, 2017
Linden trees need annual pruning.
flowers of a linden image by Ludmila Galchenkova from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The linden tree (Tilia Americana) makes an ideal landscape addition for its attractive foliage and fragrant edible flowers. The blooms can be harvested and used for tea. Linden trees may reach 75 feet in height. Gardeners can prune small linden trees by hand but should call a tree trimming service for those they cannot reach with a ladder. Prune in the late winter to early spring to shape the linden tree and remove unhealthy wood.

Inspect and remove from the linden tree's branches dead, diseased or damaged growth. Dead branches are brittle. Diseased and damaged branches can ooze sap, bear growths, be discolored or appear broken.

Combine 1 part bleach and 10 parts water in a bucket to make a sanitizing solution. Place your pruning tools in the bucket.

Remove the dead and damaged wood branch-by-branch by cutting it off at the base. Cut branches that are 1 to 3 inches thick using a hand saw and smaller branches using anvil pruners.

Remove limbs that cross against other limbs and low or downward-growing branches that impede movement under the linden tree. Cut these branches off at the base or cut back to a lateral branch.

Clip off vertical offshoots growing from limbs, since these interfere with the tree's growth. Clip off suckers that grow from the tree trunk or the base of old pruning cuts.

Trim long branches back to lateral side shoots to control their size. Cut back just after the lateral branch intersection.

Thin out the tree's canopy to increase air circulation. Remove weak limbs, such as those that area as thin as a pencil. Trim off limbs that make less than a 30-degree angle with the trunk, since this growth interferes with the tree's development.


Things You Will Need

  • Bleach
  • Anvil pruners
  • Lopping shears
  • Hand saw

About the Author


A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.