The linden tree in profile - a classic home tree

The linden tree in profile - a classic home tree

The cultural and historical importance of the linden tree

At the fountain in front of the gate, there is a linden tree ... this old folk song has set a prominent monument to the linden tree. And that is all too legitimate in view of their important cultural and historical role. Because in many village communities in Central Europe, a linden tree traditionally formed the center where people met, enjoyed fellowship and made relationships.

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Their cultural relevance is no coincidence - because the deciduous tree has some characteristics and peculiarities that make it ideal for various human concerns. These are:

  • moderate height
  • flat, heart-shaped leaves
  • high age
  • versatile flowers

The advantages of the Linden characteristics

The height and the growth

Depending on the species - there are around 40 in total - linden trees are around 15 to 40 meters high. The smaller species in particular are therefore particularly suitable for plantings in civilization, i.e. at roadsides, in village squares or in larger gardens. They develop an extremely harmonious growth habit with a spreading, often very even crown over a straight trunk. This growth makes them particularly pleasant to provide shade.


The leaves of the linden tree are known for their pronounced heart shape. Depending on the variety, the leaf is sometimes more flat, sometimes a little smaller - the species of large-leaved summer linden and small-leaved winter linden are particularly relevant in this regard. The wide leaf shape and the light leaf color are also responsible for the incomparably light, pleasant linden shade.

High age

Linden trees can get very old and therefore have a certain nostalgic character. Individual copies can reach up to 500 years.

The blossoms

The flowers are also one of the most important features of the linden tree, because they have some very beneficial characteristics: On the one hand, they exude a wonderfully sweet, honey-like scent in midsummer and are a valuable bee pasture. Linden blossom honey is therefore one of the best-known beekeeping specialties. A tasty and beneficial tea can also be brewed from the flowers, which can bring relief, especially in the case of colds.

One of the somewhat more unpleasant characteristics of the linden blossom is the so-called honeydew - a sticky secretion that it secretes and can cause annoying coatings on cars, bicycles or garbage cans.

Other vegetative characteristics

Site conditions

In their location, linden trees have above all lighting requirements - they thrive best in full sun. They like the soil to be permeable and pH-neutral.


Small, spherical fruits with a single bract emerge from the fragrant flowers. This carries the ripe fruit further away as it falls so that the linden tree can achieve a broader range of sowing.


Some of the 15 to 40 linden species are native to us, others also come from subtropical areas. The most important types are:

  • Summer linden tree
  • Winter linden
  • Silver linden
  • Crimean linden tree