Basswood tree not blooming

Asked May 18, 2019, 12:05 PM EDT

In the fall of 2015 I had a basswood tree planted on my property as part of the Montgomery county shade tree program. I seem to recall that in the spring of 2016 the tree bloomed but it has not produced flowers ever since. It is also continually sprouting new growth from the base which I cut off. Is there any thing I can do to prevent this new growth around the base and to encourage flowering? Thanks

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

The basswood is a type of linden tree. There are several species and cultivars. There may be several reasons for not flowering such as the tree may not be mature enough; stress problems such as planting too deeply; excessive mulch around the tree, etc. These stressors may also contribute to suckering at the base. You cannot prevent the suckering.

It looks like the tree may be planted too deeply and there is excessive mulch around the trunk. You should see a flare at the base of the trunk where is joins the root system. You can perform a root collar excavation.
Carefully remove the mulch and soil from the circumference of the trunk to the point where the trunk flares out into root growth. In the future, when planting do not loosen the soil in the bottom of the planting hole. Plants trees and shrubs with the top of the root ball slightly above the existing soil line. This is helpful when planting in heavy clay soils that do not drain well.

Keep mulch no thicker than several inches and away from the base of the trunk. If the tree produces sucker growth, prune the suckers back to ground level.
Water the tree during dry periods. Monitor the growth of the tree and hopefully it will flower next season. See our publication on planting the above problems and the planting process on our website