Lime Trees

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Lime Trees

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Small-leaved lime trees are a deciduous tree native to the UK and across Europe

Scientific name: Tilia cordata Family: Malvaceae

The lime tree bark is grey-brown and smooth, developing flaky plates with age. The twigs are brown-red twigs in the shade, but become shiny in sunlight. Small-leaved lime may produce suckers from the base of the tree.

Leaves: heart shaped with a pointed tip, 3–8cm in length, and hairless except for brown tufts on the underside of the vein-joints.

Flowers: limes are hermaphrodite, both male and female reproductive parts are contained within each flower. Flowers are green-yellow and have five petals, and hang in clusters of 4-10.

Fruits: once pollinated by insects, flowers develop into round to oval, smooth fruits with pointed tips.

Make sure that where your lime tree will be planted will receive plenty of sunshine. Make sure the drainage is excellent. Growing lime trees in soil that does not have excellent drainage will kill the lime tree. Water consistently as lime trees will drop their leaves if left dry for too long. Lime trees are heavy feeders. Be sure to fertilize every few months with compost or a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Grow the trees in a place where it doesn’t get colder than 10c as lime trees cannot tolerate temperatures much under this.

Given its small size, the lime tree seldom needs much pruning. Each spring, check for dead branches and cut them out and also remove any suckers growing out of the trunk. Smaller branches growing through the center of the tree can also be pruned to let more light get through the crown of the tree.