In my small suburban yard I have a Linden tree of some sort. I think it is a Linden because, even in the winter it had a few strange fruits hanging from it— a leaf-like bracket with one or two round seeds hanging from it on a short stock. Am I correct in thinking that only Lindens have this sort of fruits?
How do I know which variety exactly it is? It was obviously planted.
Are all varieties good to eat? I suppose that even if I didn't like them, I could feed them to ducks, chickens, or rabbits.
It is currently about four inches through the base. If I cut it down to ground level, would it coppice well? All the books seem to advise cutting coppice the first time when it will be the right size for use in the future. However, I have seen lots of sprouts from old stumps.
I don't claim to have great knowledge of the Tilia family, but I can share what I do know. Firstly, I have no idea which species or which parts one would go about eating, but please share what you have heard. I know there are a handful of lindens that are common ornamentals in the east. Since the North American cousin Basswood (Tilia Americana) is most commonly found in the far North I assume the eurpean Lindens are also cold hardy enough to be happy in colorado, this is a guess though. Little leaf linden is by far the most common ornamental I see planted. It bears fruits exactly as you descirbe (though basswoods do as well), their main identifier is the true leaf is about the size of a bradford pears or a large aspen leaf. North American basswoods have leaves that are large like a catalpa, they also seem to bear less conspicuous fruits and have a more timber form (very tall very straight). All Tilias sprout well, but I have always heard the reason lindens are more common ornamentals is that they have a lower propensity for root suckers (I would guess the ornamentals have been selected to minimize this). Basswoods in the woods commonly 3-4 main trunks surrounded by dozens of small suckers...some times many more if the deer browse is heavy. It would be my hunch that your tree would copice well, but if you suspect if to be a linden I would make certain to cut it back during the dormant season to make sure you don't over stress it on the first attempt. If it is a basswood it won't matter when you cut it, the suckering response will be nigh overwhelming
I know I didn't answer any of your questions, but I hope that helped a bit
If you check the internet you'll find reference to the cordata or european line of basswoods as being the most edible. I've never tried it so I can't say. What I can tell you is that when I grew up basswoods become extremely fragrant in the summer before the seed balls form. A mature basswood will attract thousands of bees and the tree will literally hum. The nice thing about basswoods is that they grow in low oxygen soils, pure clay poses no problem for basswood. But on the flip side this is a tree that either should be planted in the forest or near a building to access shade because a basswood cannot dry out, sort of like an alder.
Look on google images for tilia cordata or other linden. I bought mine from Burnt Ridge Nursery in Onalaska WA for $4. I think we need a variety of many sources of vegetables,and it's a tremendous value. I also made a cutting and am growing another one in another part of the yard. They are perennial, so it's super easy, basically collecting vegies to eat all growing season. Eat your vegies!
Tillia cordata, the smalleaved linden has edilble, good tasting leaves as long as they are translucent. The flowers, when young , are used as a herbal thee. I eat the leaves regularly during the growing season, in a salad .Dont know about the other species.
I live in zone 7.
Sometimes with trees like that where I'm not sure if they can handle the drought, I might just give them one deep watering per month in the summer to encourage deep root growth. Then I might just watch and wait. If they show no signs on the leaves of drying and withering, I don't water at all.
That's my approach too, when it doesn't look broken, don't go fixing it. But it did start to look sad during the summer in the previous years. This year so far it's only been soaked once, but on the other hand, we did have an unusually wet spring and early summer, so I'm not really getting a clear signal on how much it has already "grown up".