Pruning Tilia

Pruning Tilia


There are many different sorts of the Tilia tree. These magnificent trees can live for up to a hundred years and have been given many different names over the years, such as linden. The small-leaved and large-leaved limes are shown above. Almost all Tilia varieties can be pruned in the same way. They have great powers of regeneration and will not be easily damaged by too vigorous pruning.

tilia varieties

Pruning Tilia in June

June is an ideal time to remove the long side branches of the lime if you want to create a nice tall trunk, although you should leave the branch collars intact. When pruning thick branches, first make a cut on the underside before sawing through the branch from the top, as this will prevent tearing. Cut the branch about 10 centimetres from the trunk and then shorten the stump after the branch has been removed, keeping sufficient distance from the trunk to avoid damage to the branch collar.

Pruning in September

Trimming young lime trees into a particular shape can be fairly tricky. A useful tip is to do this while the tree still has its leaves, as this makes it easier to determine the ultimate shape. Wait until the leaves are about to fall.

Pruning Tilia between October and March

If you want to improve the shape of the crown on an older tree, the winter months are the best time to do this – although you should never prune in freezing weather! There are no hard and fast rules on how to do this. It is a matter of personal taste. For example, if you have long vertical branches protruding from the top of the crown, these can be removed. Don’t forget to leave the branch collar intact.

Of course, it is also possible to thin out the crown of the lime tree to give it more light and air, especially if it has a lot of dead wood. Make a cut a few centimetres deep on the underside of the branch and then continue sawing from above.

Removing root suckers

Any root suckers that develop can be cut away throughout the growing season.