Linden tree dropping leaves
We had a severe storm about 2-3 weeks ago. Winds were clocked at 96 MPH. Many residents lost trees and/or limbs. Our Linden tree (approximately 20+ years old) is starting to lose its leaves well ahead of other trees in this area. I was wondering if the tree may be in a sort of shock and if there is anything we should be doing to help it through the winter. We don't notice any unusual signs of blight, etc., but the tree did lose one medium sized limb during the storm. We are grateful we kept it, as the entire tree was bent at an extraordinary angle during the storm.
Dodge County Nebraska
Thanks for the question and photos of your linden tree. There is a good chance that your tree was bothered by the Japanese beetle this year and that would be the cause of the leaves starting to fall off. Japanese beetles will leave the leaf looking like a doilies. This time of the year there is nothing that can be done about the beetles. You want to make sure that the limb that came out from the storm is cleaned up. You don't want any jagged wood sticking out or anything of that nature. The flower bed around the tree is a concern. When we put extra soil around the base of the tree it could suffocate the roots that are directly under it. Also that soil up against the tree can rot out the trunk. If possible we would recommend removing the bed all together and put in mulch. Mulch allows air to flow and suppresses weed competition. The middle picture shows some wire or other material that may be looped around the trunks. Make sure that it isn't too tight to cause any damage. Check it periodically and adjust it accordingly to make sure the tree does not try to grow around it.
More information about storm damaged trees: http://nfs.unl.edu/Storm%20Damage%20series%20Mobile.pdf
More information about Japanese beetles: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/japanese-beetles/
Please let me know if you have other questions.