The Large-leaved lime is a native tree species of the UK, however as this is a cultivar it is not counted as a native species. It is rarely planted across Exeter so if you come across one you are very lucky! It shares many characteristics of the Large-leaved lime and from a distance is easily identified as one of the many types of Lime tree. The growth habit is slower than that of the true Large-leaved lime tree and the shape is more conical when younger. The most striking feature is the shape of the leaves which is where it gets it's common name of 'cut-leaf'. No two leaves are the same and they are very unique when compared to other broadleaf trees. The underside of the leaves and twigs are still hairy which is the same as the Large-leaved lime. The height of Cut-leaved lime is typically up to 20m which is a lot smaller than most other types of Lime tree. This unique cultivar would be make a great substitute of the regular Large-leaved lime where space is a problem or a small to medium sized tree would be more suitable.
Like other members of the Tilia family it can happily live for hundreds of years when cared for correctly. Suckering does occur with this cultivar and interestingly the leaves on the suckers are completly different. They are the same as the regular Large-leaved lime, so be mindful when trying to identify this tree based on the leaves of the suckers / recovery shoots.. Unlike the Common lime tree which is prone to aphid attack the Large-leaved lime does not really suffer from Aphid infestation. This is good news if your car is parked underneath a Large-leaved lime tree as it won't be covered in the sticky mess called honeydew - which is what the aphids excrete.
On mature trees the bark is pale grey-brown and irregularly ridged. On mature trees the bark is slightly furrowed
The buds are a deep red colour and the twigs are covered in small hairs. They look a bit like boxing gloves
The bark of mature trees is a pale grey-brown colour and has irregularly ridges. Typically the bole of Cut-leaved Lime is quite clean and tidy compared to the Common Lime and the Small-leaved Lime. These two tree species tend to throw up lots of suckers at the base of the bole which helps with identification. The twigs are slighlty zig zag apperance and the buds resemeble small red boxing gloves. The colour of the buds is typically a deep red but this only applies to Spring, Autumn and Winter. In the Summer the buds are green.
Cut-leaved lime is a deciduous tree and can reach heights of up to 20m. Younger trees are more pyramidal in shape
The flowers are white-yellow with five petals and hang in clusters of 4 - 10 typically. Flowering is usually June
The leaves are narrow and irregularly lobed shaped and around 6 - 8cm in length. The surface of the leaves is slightly rough to the touch but the underneath is very hairy. If you look at the underside of the leaves they are covered in fine white hairs and there are small clusters of these white hairs in the leaf veins. On very young leaves in April time the fine white hairs haven't really developed yet so bare that in mind when trying to identify. From May onwards the undersides are hairy and are quite pleasent to the touch. The buds are red all year around except in the summer when they are green. During the winter when twig and bud identification is frequent the Cut-leaved lime buds are often known as little red boxing gloves. The branches tend to sweep outwards and curve a little. Although they do not grow to be as big as the Large-leaved lime they still make for good shade trees when fully mature.
The leaves are narrow and irregularly lobed shaped and around 6 - 8cm in length
The fruit is a small and round-oval in shape with a pointed tip. They are deeply ribbed and hairy
Flowering for the Cut-leaved Lime is normally in June and is the first of the typical Lime tree species to flower in the UK. The flowers are quite small and hang in clusters of 3 to 5 and are accompanied by a leafy yellow-green subtending bract. The flowers have white petals with yellow male parts (anthers) and the female parts (stigma and ovary) are white. They are pollinated mainly by bees and on a sunny day the noise from the hundreds of busy bees is fantastic. It is also known as the Bee tree as they adore the sweet nectar. For this reason Bee keepers often keep or have Lime trees nearby to assist with making even sweeter honey. On a hot summers day with a gentle breeze the sweet smell of the flowers can be smelled from a fair distance. The flowers mature into small round / oval shaped drupe with a pointed tip. They start off a dull green and mature into a light brown colour and are dispersed by the wind. The fruit of the tree is referred to as nutlets and the structure that holds the flowers / fruit is called a cyme. The nutlets of the Cut-leaved lime are hairy and are very distinct and deeply ribbed which also helps with identification.
Cut-leaved lime is a small to medium sized deciduous tree and can grow to heights of up 20m
It is a rarely planted broad-leaved tree in the UK
Despite the name containing the word lime it has nothing to do with the citrust fruit lime
The old english name for these trees were called Lind
Outside of the UK they are often referred to as Linden trees
It can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure
During the 18th century many Lime trees were imported from the Netherlands to grace the gardens of stately homes
As a cultivar there is little information with its lifespan, but this should easily be 250+ years
It is one of the few trees that responds well to pollarding
Unlike the Common lime which is prone to aphid attack the Cut-leaved lime is not
Aphid's in large numbers excrete a sticky substance called honeydew
The bark is a pale grey-brown colour and has irregularly ridges
The stringy inner bark is called bass or bast which has been used to make mats, ropes, and baskets
It is often used for carvings and the sounding boards for pianos, and for charcoal used by artists
The wood is white, smooth and close-grained
It is a light wood and doesn't become worm-eaten
Lime has been coppiced and used as fuel, hop-poles, bean-sticks and bowls
The leaves of the suckers are very different than that of the leaves further up the tree which can lead to further mis-identification
The buds are alternately arranged on the twigs
The twigs are slighlty zig zag apperance and the buds resemeble small red boxing gloves
The colour of the buds is typically a deep red but this only applies to Spring, Autumn and Winter. In the Summer the buds are green
Around June the tree is in flower and really stands out
The sweet nectar from the thousands of flowers can be smelt from a fair distance which is why Lime trees are also known as the 'Bee Tree' as they adore the flowers
The flowers are insect pollinated - mainly by bees
The flowers are quite small and hang in clusters of 3 to 5 and are accompanied by a leafy yellow-green subtending bract
The flowers have white petals with yellow male parts (anthers) and the female parts (stigma and ovary) are white
The flowers mature into small round / oval shaped drupe with a pointed tip
They start off a dull green and mature into a light brown colour and are dispersed by the wind
The fruit of the tree is referred to as nutlets and the structure that holds the flowers / fruit is called a cyme
The nutlets of the Large-leaved lime are hairy and are very distinct and deeply ribbed
The leaves are narrow and have irregular lobes and around 6 - 8cm in length
The surface of the leaves is slightly rough to the touch but the underneath is very hairy
Lime nail gall (Eriophyes tiliae) is a small mite that causes the upright red bugle like structures on the surface of the leaves
When trying to ID a Lime tree never rely on the base suckers / leaves.
The bracts of LargeLime always droop down unlike that of the Small-leaved lime tree which stick upwards and outwards
It been used as a home remedy for colds, flu, coughs, epilepsy and indigestion
During the French Revolution, more than 60,000 Lime trees were planted in all the districts of France
In the Middle Ages Lime trees were planted near hospitals because they made the air healthier and calmer
The Celts and the Germans claimed that truth emerged under the shade of a Lime tree
In Eastern countries it sometimes called the tree of justice
In France and Switzerland, limes represent liberty, and the trees were planted to celebrate different battles
Lime leaves are the food source of caterpillars of the lime hawk, vapourer, peppered, triangle and scarce hook-tip moth
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