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Trees & Shrubs for Bees – Limes

Last time, we gave you a few reasons to be interested in getting bees to be a part of your garden, along with some general tips towards achieving this goal. This month, we’re going to be looking a little closer at some specific bee-friendly species, perfect for supporting a valuable insect and introducing a little summer interest.

Today it’s going to be the Tilia species, or Lime trees. They’re hardy, summer flowering, and a brilliant addition to any garden. Bees love them, though bear the different varieties in mind when picking a plant for your home. Some species, such as Tilia petiolaris, have an almost narcotic or soporific effect on bees. Fortunately, we’re sharing two of your best options below.

First off is the Small Leaved Lime, or Tilia cordata, which we can supply bare-root when in season, or container grown all year round. Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’, is a long-lived native tree, with some specimens found to survive as long as 1,000 years. You can expect to see it reach an ultimate height of anywhere between 15-20 metres, while growing slightly narrower than Cordata, ideal if you’re looking for a tall, yet slightly more compact, tree.

From June-July there’ll be pale, yellow, and sweetly-scented flowers on display, which form a major attraction to any local bees. As an added bonus, maintenance is a breeze. Tilia cordata will thrive on most soils (though it prefers alkaline), and is extremely tolerant to wind, even when placed coastally.

tilia cordata 400

While some limes are somewhat prone to aphids (which causes honeydew dripping from the tree), Cordata is fairly resistant to the pests. Placed in sun to partial shade, Tilia cordata is a sound, low-effort investment.

Another variety you may be interested in Tilia platyphyllos, the Large Leaved Lime. With large heart-shaped leaves, similar to Cordata’s smaller foliage, the tree functions extremely well as pleached screening, though remains more delicate in the face of coastal winds. With the same attractiveness to bees and resistance from pests, Platyphyllos fulfils an excellent range of function in the garden, bee friendly and an impressive specimen tree too.

There are plenty more variants available for viewing, both online and at our nursery. T. euchlora, T. brabant and E. pallida to name only a few. As ever, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have, whether you want some additional planting advice or to set up an order.

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