Linden trees are commonly planted on community and commercially owned properties for good reason. They grow quickly and the canopies maintain lovely pyramid shaping with little if any pruning. Highly pest and disease resistant, these easy keepers are winter hardy even in USDA Zone 2, where average minimum temperatures run between -40 and -50 degrees F. Residents can often be seen clustering around blooming lindens in June, collecting bounteous supplies for relaxing teas or traditional medicines. Typically nobody minds if you pluck blossoms from their linden trees. If somebody doesn’t take them away, that means the owners will have quite a clean-up effort dealing with the fallen flowers.
Check the chosen linden trees every day beginning late in May. They only bloom for a few days each year in early June, so you’ll need to monitor them closely. Flowers must be picked when they’re fully open and at their most fragrant.
Pick the delicate linden flowers carefully. Very early morning is the best time for this, so that picked blooms aren‘t exposed to hot daytime sun. Start from the southern side of the tree where blossoms usually bloom first. Open your forefinger and middle finger into a V and slip some of the clustered stems between them, cupping the blooms just behind the attached green bracts.
Gently tug the blooms downward. Mature flowers with bracts intact should drop easily into your other hand with just that little nudge. Collect them in a plastic shopping bag, working as quickly as possible so that you can get the flowers home before they wilt.
Spread the linden flowers out on a soft towel. Use a plastic spray bottle to spritz them with distilled water, which contains none of the impurities of ordinary tap water. Refrigerate the blooms in plastic bags for up to several days. Remove only enough to supply your needs at any one time.
Return to the tree each day thereafter to collect newly matured blossoms until the tree stops blooming.