Tilia cordata (Small Leaved Lime)
Other Names: Little Leaf, Little Leaf Linden, Small Leaved Linden, The Pry
Description: A medium sized locally common species broadleaved deciduous species often found in mixed woodland, limestone cliffs, hedgerows and occasionally as coppice. Its bark is grey brown and smooth and develops flaky plates with age. The twigs are brownish red in the shade but become shiny in the sunlight. The flowers are green yellow and appear in clusters. Once pollinated, the fruits are round to oval with a pointed end. The tree always grows suckers around its base reaching high up the trunk.
Uses: Lime wood is soft and light with a white yellow colour and if finely textured. Its is easily worked and so used extensively for wood turning and furniture making. Lime bark was once used for rope making. The wood is used today to make sounding boards and piano keys as it does not warp. During the second world war when tea leaves were hard to come by, lime flowers were used as a popular substitute.
Conservation Value: Lime leaves are eaten by many species of moth including the Lime Hawk, Peppered and Vapourer. Due to the sweet say the tree produces in abundance it is very attractive aphids which then supply food source for predator species such as Ladybirds, Hoverflies and many bird species.
Preferred Locations: Found on chalk, clay and sand soils and can cope with occasional waterlogging. Prefers full or partial shade locations.
Size: Around 20 to 25m with a canopy spread of at least 8m when mature.
Time to reach full height: 20 to 50 years.
Lifespan: Can be very long lived with some species exceeding 700 years. This can be even longer when the tree is coppiced.