More Trees, Please...August 16, 2007
Sometimes familiar trees show up in non- traditional locations, or if you are a true fan of landscape history, this is a traditional use for tree.
The Allee (pronounced Al- lay) is French for " path or to go." Our more commonly used word, alley, defined as a back-access road is derived from the same word. But today we are focused on beautiful landscape- so we'll stick with allee.
This allee is located at the Toledo Botanical Gardens in Toledo, Ohio. Our last Master Gardener tree specialist class was held at this beautiful facility and lunch was an opportune time to stroll the grounds. There were many styles of gardens, including a planting of prairie specimens, but this planting stood out as a way to make a huge impact with a simple row of trees.
The trees in this particular planting were Little Leaf Linden, Tilia cordata. This is not really a native plant, but we have several close relatives that are Ohio natives. The Little Leaf Linden makes a great street tree, as it stays a more manageable size than the Big Leaf Linden. Both are also known as Basswood, and have heart-shaped leaves and wonderfully fragrant flowers in June. The flowers are so small you may not even notice them, but their smell is heavenly. Bees must enjoy them too, because Basswood is a fairly common "flavor" of honey.
Our trees are an asset that we too often take for granted. Street trees have been found to reduce the temperatures in cities by 3 degrees. They are natural air filters and even increase our property values, not to mention the obvious benefits to wildlife. Trees enhance our lives in many ways; besides, how could little kids have leaf collections if we didn't have trees?