Linden Tree , remove or keep?


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Hi All! I have what I'm pretty sure is a Linden tree, we used to call it the lettuce tree before we knew anything. I found it in the trash at a nursery about 14 yrs ago. Looked dead with only one leaf on it. Me being the sucker I am, took it home. It's been growing since.

It's about 30' tall now and becoming kind of a concern after years of overhauling our place and wanting to be done soon. We're trying to get trees planted and situated for the long haul, since all the tree and yard demolition is mostly finished. I won't have it in me much longer to remove trees, so now's the time to decide. My thinking is getting the landscape in order and healthy so we don't have to deal with any more than we have to in our later years. The house and property we bought was such a money pit. Where possible, I'd like the next owners to enjoy it without all that hassle and hopefully leave the trees we put in place, so they can keep growing.

We're having reservations about keeping this tree. It's a substantial enough size tree to matter. We love the flowers, amazing smell and pretty. Hate the trash it drops all summer long. It's a bit of a fire hazard in the summer but great for the soil once mowing season returns. The droppings get into EVERYTHING and everywhere. As it gets bigger and the branches droop, we have to cut them off and away from the phone lines before the city come's and butchers it like they have others on our road.

I read an articles saying they can tend to break easily? I've always noticed how spongy and soft the wood is. The tree itself is quick to heal and a tough survivor. But at each branch, junction or lead, they look like potential breaks as they get heavier, droop over and pull downward. Every time I look at it I keep thinking, "That's where likely it'll break during some heavy frozen rain or wind storm." If it's going to be an issue, I'd almost rather cut it down now and put something else in it's place. Too many times I've let myself get attached to trees, keeping them when I shouldn't. And then I end up cutting them down anyway. Or they damage other things I really liked becasue I left it.. Plus we lose all those yrs of growth time for something else that we could've had if we 'd just gotten it over with. IDK.

Does anyone have any experience with these trees? I read they were tough trees, real survivors. That's nice but not if it's going to flatten my smaller trees and shrubs around it later. I know all tress have issues. But I'd like to play the odd's in our favor best we can. Am I right to worry? If I prune the extra leads off, there won't be much tree left. And it would likely just make more of them all the same again anyway. If it were a strong hardwood, I might think twice. But every branch on it looks like these with the forks instead of strongly attached branches. Seems most break right there from what I've seen. Am I wrong? Would you remove it or trust it? Any opinions?

Thanks to all of you for any help, and for reading.
 

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Looking at your photos my first thought was the bark looks white for a lime, or linden, then that the leaves look more like poplar. You mention the flowers, which are not especially dramatic on a lime. Does it make twisting spinner type seeds? The flowers on some poplars can be quite dramatic though (tulip trees).

All this of course has no relation to whether you should keep it or not, really it is up to you. Don't worry too much about being old, I recently got rid of two hugely overgrown leylandi type trees, well up to 30 foot, and I was 77 last month. You just have to be steady and methodical about it, rushing at jobs like that is for youngsters, that's why they have accidents :)
 
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This is a Linden or Lime Tree (Tilia sp.). I 'm not sure which species or hybrid it might be.

It is a beautiful tree. The lichen and Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus sp.) holes on the trunk are lovely to see. I'm already growing attached to it myself. While it is tempting to lobby whole-heartedly for its preservation, the responsible thing is to suggest that it be inspected by a licensed arborist. Professional ethics should be enough here, but it might still be good to find one unaffiliated with a pruning and tree removal company.
 
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Looking at your photos my first thought was the bark looks white for a lime, or linden, then that the leaves look more like poplar. You mention the flowers, which are not especially dramatic on a lime. Does it make twisting spinner type seeds? The flowers on some poplars can be quite dramatic though (tulip trees).

All this of course has no relation to whether you should keep it or not, really it is up to you. Don't worry too much about being old, I recently got rid of two hugely overgrown leylandi type trees, well up to 30 foot, and I was 77 last month. You just have to be steady and methodical about it, rushing at jobs like that is for youngsters, that's why they have accidents :)
I tried for a while to find photos of the blooms and didn't find anything. So I went on the internet and found examples. Compared to the internet photos, ours are thicker. Sometimes so much so the tree will sag from the weight of the blooms. Small blooms but still very noticeable from other side of the yard like 90ft away. They're creamy white with a yellow center. So fragrant when it's blooming and we come home, as soon as you get out of the car it hits you in the face and you know. Our neighbor 3 houses down says she always looks forward to it becasue they can smell it too. And the bees,.. that tree is alive with Bees when it has flowers.

Yes, it has a sort of oval leaf that comes out with the blooms, those fall off and get into everything everywhere, you name it. The blooms make a tiny green ball, I think that's the seed. In my first pic, you can see on the top right. We had Tulip Poplar, one of my favorite trees we had, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't that. It was huge and beautiful, but the roots where pushing under the concrete floor of my shop. It really bothered me to cut that one down. It was a trashy tree, but I loved it anyway. And it kept my shop cool and the blooms where favorites of our hummingbirds.

Oliver, thanks for the encouragement and excellent advice. You're doing great and an inspiration! I agree, younger people don't have the same work ethic these days. I have a back injury that's a ticking time bomb, some days I can't even walk but I keep telling myself to keep moving when I can. No rest for the wicked. Ha!

@Marck if you like the sapsucker holes, here's more eye candy for yuh! That tree is top to bottom holes. Ha! ha!

I'm not disagreeing or challenging here you at all, I'd just like to hear why they're lovely to you? I think I might see your point of view becasue I appreciate nature, but sometimes they drive me nuts but so do my neighbors dogs. I feel bad for the trees, they absolutely tear them up, some to extremes. During mating season, they will almost strip the bark off of some smaller trees - they've killed a few, even shrubs. I worry about insects getting in and they like putting holes in my house too - little stinkers. Maybe you could give me further insight and reasons to look at it as a good thing? :) It might help.

I've tried to find a tree doc or consultant that met my expectations,.. with no luck. I also would not want tree advice from a tree service or anyone who isn't in tree removal or pruning. I understand why you say that and thank you. I use to be in landscaping. I wasn't an arborist but I did have a green thumb and I was the guy who went up in a boom or climbing gear and trimmed trees. So knowing what I do, I'd rather find a tree Doctor too. All of them here are acclaimed arborists so I kind of gave up trying to sort them out.

I just think with soft wood and weak fork joint, it may be a concern later on?
 

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You have a golden tree, very good tea is made. During flowering, the leaves and flowers are picked and listened to for a month.
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Yep, they look like lime/linden, and the bees going mad for it is right too. Seems there are two types, bees like both, but one makes them act like they are drunk. I used to work on a garden where they had a short avenue of them up their driveway and when they were in bloom there would be bees all over buzzing round and round in circles on the floor. Take care with that back, but I always reckon gentle exercise is better than just keeping still, that's when I start seizing up, and I can do most things gently with time and thought. Doesn't mean I always do mind, got carried away splitting logs with wedges and a sledge hammer the other day and the shoulder I dislocated earlier in the year when I missed a kerb is giving me a bit of gyp. :)
 
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I was just admiring the sapsucker holes for the usual natural aesthetic, and birdwatching reasons. Trees are somewhat tolerant of woodpecker damage, but I feel like we should be even more so.
I am still not-so-secretly on the side of keeping the tree. Even if/when it eventually loses a branch in a storm; that is usually not that catastrophic an occurrence (famous last word?).
However, of course you can and must examine all elements of the situation much better than me.
 
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I will share a tree, it is over 200 years old. We call it Mulberry. Trees grow without problems, even with damage, but such trees are dangerous for settlements. I have seen many centuries-old trees.
https://m.facebook.com/atanas.todorov.372/posts/pcb.4467697793254886/?photo_id=10219895655249127&mds=%2Fphotos%2Fviewer%2F%3Fphotoset_token%3Dpcb.4467697793254886%26photo%3D10219895655249127%26profileid%3D100024446732584%26source%3D48%26refid%3D18%26_ft_%3Dqid.-7635752492747320254%253Amf_story_key.4467697793254886%253Atop_level_post_id.4467697793254886%253Atl_objid.4467697793254886%253Acontent_owner_id_new.1453644014%253Apage_id.3107079069316772%253Asrc.22%253Aphoto_attachments_list.[10219895655249127%252C10219895655849142%252C10219895657009171]%253Astory_location.6%253Astory_attachment_style.album%253Afilter.GroupStoriesByActivityEntQuery%253Aott.AX_7w7g6lhih1dip%253Atds_flgs.3%253Apage_insights.%257B%25223107079069316772%2522%253A%257B%2522page_id%2522%253A3107079069316772%252C%2522page_id_type%2522%253A%2522group%2522%252C%2522actor_id%2522%253A1453644014%252C%2522dm%2522%253A%257B%2522isShare%2522%253A0%252C%2522originalPostOwnerID%2522%253A0%257D%252C%2522psn%2522%253A%2522EntGroupMallPostCreationStory%2522%252C%2522post_context%2522%253A%257B%2522object_fbtype%2522%253A657%252C%2522publish_time%2522%253A1625421665%252C%2522story_name%2522%253A%2522EntGroupMallPostCreationStory%2522%252C%2522story_fbid%2522%253A[4467697793254886]%257D%252C%2522role%2522%253A1%252C%2522sl%2522%253A6%257D%257D%26__tn__%3DEH-R%26cached_data%3Dfalse%26ftid%3D&mdp=1&mdf=1
 
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You have a golden tree, very good tea is made. During flowering, the leaves and flowers are picked and listened to for a month.
View attachment 85376View attachment 85377
Wow! I never knew that, you learn something every day - neat. Great read.. Thank you!

@Oliver Buckle You're a good example to follow for sure, take care of that shoulder. I always tell my other half that it's like the Tin Man, you gotta keep moving or you'll rust up and get stuck. Ha!

@Marck I like your point of view, thank you for that. Ya, we should be more tolerant and share. Sometimes things are hard but we'd be missing the point if it wasn't, right? :) I don't think the loss of a branch wouldn't hurt it either, it heals really fast. It has 3 leads and those would be very heavy and likely rip the trunk open if it gave way. My real concern is the damage to what's under it. Before we started removing problem trees, there was a lot of damage done by random falling tree parts. So I guess that's still in the back of my mind. There's always a chance it could happen with any tree and life goes on, I just didn't want to walk straight into it kicking myself later for not checking into it. Then again I didn't want to throw away 14 yrs of a tree to find out later it's normal and they don't usually have problems. Woops!

I do enjoy the activity and seeing the Bees in blooming season getting their buffet too. Judging by the smell I bet that would make delicious honey! My wife may make me keep it now, once she hears tea can be made from it. Ha!

Thanks everybody! Have a fantastic day!
 
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I will share a tree, it is over 200 years old. We call it Mulberry. Trees grow without problems, even with damage, but such trees are dangerous for settlements. I have seen many centuries-old trees.
https://m.facebook.com/atanas.todorov.372/posts/pcb.4467697793254886/?photo_id=10219895655249127&mds=%2Fphotos%2Fviewer%2F%3Fphotoset_token%3Dpcb.4467697793254886%26photo%3D10219895655249127%26profileid%3D100024446732584%26source%3D48%26refid%3D18%26_ft_%3Dqid.-7635752492747320254%253Amf_story_key.4467697793254886%253Atop_level_post_id.4467697793254886%253Atl_objid.4467697793254886%253Acontent_owner_id_new.1453644014%253Apage_id.3107079069316772%253Asrc.22%253Aphoto_attachments_list.[10219895655249127%252C10219895655849142%252C10219895657009171]%253Astory_location.6%253Astory_attachment_style.album%253Afilter.GroupStoriesByActivityEntQuery%253Aott.AX_7w7g6lhih1dip%253Atds_flgs.3%253Apage_insights.%257B%25223107079069316772%2522%253A%257B%2522page_id%2522%253A3107079069316772%252C%2522page_id_type%2522%253A%2522group%2522%252C%2522actor_id%2522%253A1453644014%252C%2522dm%2522%253A%257B%2522isShare%2522%253A0%252C%2522originalPostOwnerID%2522%253A0%257D%252C%2522psn%2522%253A%2522EntGroupMallPostCreationStory%2522%252C%2522post_context%2522%253A%257B%2522object_fbtype%2522%253A657%252C%2522publish_time%2522%253A1625421665%252C%2522story_name%2522%253A%2522EntGroupMallPostCreationStory%2522%252C%2522story_fbid%2522%253A[4467697793254886]%257D%252C%2522role%2522%253A1%252C%2522sl%2522%253A6%257D%257D%26__tn__%3DEH-R%26cached_data%3Dfalse%26ftid%3D&mdp=1&mdf=1
@Neno Baylov That is absolutely beautiful!! There's a lot of history there. The trunk and roots have so much character. Thank you for sharing that. Amazing
 
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@CreakyGardener those forks are showing the early signs of a break, you're right there. The linden family / common name has a bunch of similar species in it that we may all be talking about slightly different trees but they're largely the same. I hope to plant an American Basswood next spring.

What, if anything, will a branch take out when it falls? Will you wake up during a thunder storm to find a new live-edge skylight in a bedroom? If so, yes take the tree out. If it will just damage other plantings leave it.

Another typical characteristic of lindens is they will re-sprout when cut down (coppice) so one option is cut the tree down and let it regrow. But, yes it is a drastic option.

From:

The Multiple Uses of Lime Trees (Tilia)

Martin Crawford

Limes coppice strongly, producing long straight poles valued for sustainable fuel production and turnery uses. The coppicing rotation period is usually 25-30 years, but short-rotation coppice is feasible. Coppiced lime stools are virtually indestructible; there is one coppice ancient stool at Westonbirt Arboretum in the UK that is estimated to be 2,000 years old; its age attributed to fairly long rotation coppicing with occasional layering of arching stems.
 
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i personally apply it it works. iron sulfide also helps against chlorosis.
 
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Mr Yan, your rooting arched stems reminded me of someone who discovered what they thought could be the oldest living thing on the planet. A tree (I think it was a beech) was knocked over in a storm and the tips of the branches rooted. For some reason he wondered if this had happened before and took soil samples, he found traces of fallen tree going back in a continuous line about a mile and three quarters. He reckoned that the tree had fallen in a southwesterly storm about once every hundred and fifty years and made another thirty feet or so each time. At 1760 yards to a mile that's 176 falls times 150 years apart that's 26,400 years old, or thereabouts :)
 
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@CreakyGardener those forks are showing the early signs of a break, you're right there. The linden family / common name has a bunch of similar species in it that we may all be talking about slightly different trees but they're largely the same. I hope to plant an American Basswood next spring.

What, if anything, will a branch take out when it falls? Will you wake up during a thunder storm to find a new live-edge skylight in a bedroom? If so, yes take the tree out. If it will just damage other plantings leave it.

Another typical characteristic of lindens is they will re-sprout when cut down (coppice) so one option is cut the tree down and let it regrow. But, yes it is a drastic option.

From:

The Multiple Uses of Lime Trees (Tilia)

Martin Crawford
@Mr_Yan I guess I don't think of them so much as branches, rather like multiple (3) leads since they grow more forked structure upwards. Each lead is nearly 1/3 of the tree and very heavy. I find myself imagining it as it grows bigger. It won't make a skylight, haha! Though it would destroy many years of hard work and time for what's below that we value just as much, or more. The tree itself would surely heal. It's the likelihood of it taking a large portion of more delicate / slower growing trees below with it that's concerning. It has happened before with other trees before removing the bad ones and it was disappointing to say the least. I like that it's a substantial tree, but it's extremely trashy and a lot of work for a yard tree if it's going to crush something later. I'm not sure its a labor of love or not. If we remove it, I'll have something in its place right away. Part of me wants to wait and see what happens, the other wants to build a memorial guitar from it's wood and not have to wonder about it anymore. :)

I'm just trying to get the yard in order, thinking ahead. My days for projects like that are numbered. Doctors told me I would hardly be able to walk by 5 years ago. One told me I'd be cripple and need a walker,... I'm still proving them wrong. :)

@Oliver Buckle I know you weren't talking to me, but,.... WOW! That's a jaw dropper. I'm going to see if I can find that article. A friend of mine would love it as well!
 
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'Build a memorial guitar from its wood' reminded me of someone I knew long ago that used to build acoustic guitars. He saw someone felling a maple and offered to buy the wood when he was done. On his way back from where he was going he called in and the guy said, 'There you go, and I've logged it all into eighteen inch lengths for you'. Doh!
 

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