Arbor Age Tree of the Month: ‘Shamrock’ Littleleaf Linden

Editor’s Note:
This article, by Len Phillips, ASLA Emeritus, appeared in December 2008 issue of Arbor Age magazine. It is posted here with permission from Arbor Age and is not intended for reprint or republication. For more Arbor Age articles, visit

Botanical Name: Tilia cordata ‘Bailey’

Trade Name: ‘Shamrock’ Littleleaf Linden
Parentage: Selection from Bailey Nursery
Family: Tiliaceae
Height: 40 to 50 feet
Spread: 30 feet
Form: Pyramidal and symmetrical shape
Bloom Period: Late June to early July
Flower: Yellowish, fragrant, pendulous
Fruit: 1/3-inch nutlet
Summer Foliage: Dark green, shiny, larger than Greenspire Linden
Autumn Foliage: Yellow in the autumn
Winter Color: Bark provides winter interest
Bark: Gray brown, uniform branching structure
Habitat: Native to Europe
Culture: Likes well drained soil, any pH, full sun to partial shade, tolerates heat, drought, and air pollution
Hardiness Zone*: 4 to 8
Growth Rate: Moderate, more vigorous than Greenspire Linden
Pest Resistance: Aphids and Japanese beetles
Storm Resistance: Excellent
Salt Resistance: Excellent
Planting: Transplants easily, quick recovery
Pruning: Prune at planting and 3 years later to mature form, withstands severe pruning, may only require pruning of basal sprouts and removal of some potential crotch problems
Propagating: Budded onto T. cordata understock
Design Uses: Well suited for street tree planting
Companions: Use with ground covers such as Vinca and Pachysandra
Other Comments: Young trees reach symmetry earlier than the species
Available From: Difficult to find in retail nurseries, look in the largest wholesale nurseries
* For information about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, visit
Len Phillips can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].

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