Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Linden Path in the Arnold Arboretum

Linden Path in the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts
The quarter-mile-long Linden Path in the Arnold Arboretum is a beautiful trail that connects the Hunnewell Visitor Center at the northern tip of the tree park with the Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden. It starts on the right side of Meadow Road southwest of the Hunnewell Building. First-time visitors of the Arboretum often begin their park exploration along this path, at the end of which the agriculturally landscaped Leventritt Garden, an open-air pavilion and the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection await them.

Various linden trees (genus: Tilia) from around the temperate Northern Hemisphere can be found alongside the Linden Path. Grown Tilia trees are typically tall— sometimes over 100 feet. They have a sturdy trunk with dividing and subdividing branches ending in twigs along which heart-shaped leaves move in the wind and reflect the sunshine. The abundant foliage of summer trees gives plenty of shade on sunny days, but spending too much time underneath a fragrant tree can result in a sticky coating of body parts and accessoires, due to the sap dripping off the tree.

Moltka-Linden, Arnold Arboretum
The Moltka-Linden (Tilia x moltkei) shown above is a great example of a space-demanding tree with a strong branch structure. It is a cross breed of the American linden (Tilia americana) species and the silver linden (Tilia tomentosa) of southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, interbred in the 19th century at a tree nursery (Baumschule Sp├Ąth) in Berlin, Germany. The hybrid is named after the German Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, who, for some time, served with the Ottoman Empire in Asia Minor, where he may have temporarily retreated under a Silber-Linde from military duties. 

The Caucasian Linden (Tilia dasystyla) picture below features a twig hugging the lower part of the central trunk. The leaves show signs of insect attacks.  The label attached to the tree bark says this species is native to Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus (therefore its common name!), and Iran.

Caucasian Linden twig hugging tree trunk

Keywords: tree walk, Tiliacea, Tilioideae, Malvaceae, botany.

Von Moltke Linden:
Moltke-Linde (in German):

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