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Tree Campus: Littleleaf Linden

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Littleleaf Linden

Tilia cordata (MALVACEAE)



T. cordata originated in Asia, where it still shows the widest range of diversity.



"T. cordata flowers attract bees which behave as biological fertilization vectors. The only real threat to T. cordata is the Japanese beetle. In the northern growth regions, the beetles can eat all of the foliage in a single tree. Aphids, caterpillars, lace bugs, and spider mites can all feed on the leaves as well, however these species are not life threatening. They are more of an inconvenience, causing the tree to produce extra mucilage and discoloring the foliage. Furthermore, there are not extremely deadly diseases threatening T. cordata. Some diseases, such as anthracnose which causes browning on the leaves near the veins, or verticillium which causes death in the branches, effect the species but are not overwhelming." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Due to the reliable growth pattern and low maintenance of T. cordata, these trees are a common architectural plant. They are common residential foliage, often lining sidewalks, medians, parking lots, etc...

For centuries, T. cordata flowers have been used for their medicinal purposes to treat anxiety and stomach problems. A popular tea can be concocted from the leaves with similar therapeutic characteristics. A comparable substitute for chocolate can be created from grinding together the leaves and flowers of T. cordata because they are very mucilaginous, however the product has not been widely successful because it doesn’t have a long shelf life." [1]



"The wood is soft and difficult to finish and sand, so it is not commonly used for furniture or other industrial purposes. Instead, the wood is popular for puppet making and sculpting because it is very light. As mentioned above, the bast is very durable. This fiber has many applications including mats, shoes, rope, or paper. For example, the Ainu people in Japan have used the bast of T. cordata in weaving their clothing for centuries. The bulbs located on the end of the twigs are frequently eaten by animals because of their sweet nature and large quantity. These bulbs also have many human uses in light adhesive products, such as stamps." [1]



[1] Wujciak, A. & Wang, R. (2016). Small-Leaved Lime, Littleleaf Linden. Yale. Nature Walk.

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