Pleached Lime Trees, Linden, Small Leaved or Little Leaved Lime

Tilia cordata ‘Rancho’ (Tiliaceae)

mature pleached lime trees, Tilia cordata Rancho
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The cultivar Tilia cordata ‘Rancho’ is ideal for planting along paths, driveways and avenues making it a popular choice amongst pleached limes. The year-round interest created by this small compact tree ensures it is fast becoming a firm favourite. If you enjoy fragrance and blooms in June/July, then this may be the one for you.

  • Deciduous
  • High pleached options
  • Also available as clear stem trees, block on stem, box head trees, espalier on stem, espalier-low
  • Stem girth from 12-14cm up to 30-35cm, occasionally bigger available but they need booking in advance
  • Various stem heights and frame sizes available on our pleached limes
  • Trained on frame in pleached form for 1-5 years in some cases even longer
  • Pleached Lime trees are available as freshly pleached trees while stocks last
  • Pleached Limes are available in pots/containers, cocoa rootball or rootball
  • Nationwide delivery service by articulated lorry, smaller vehicle by prior arrangement
acer parasol trees in the nursery

Here are some examples of Pleached Tilia cordata Rancho trees currently available. Click any image to enlarge or to send an enquiry about that specific plant.


Lime, Linden, Little Leaved Linden, Small Leaved Lime, Little leaved Lime, Lime tree – Tilia cordata ‘Rancho’ (Tiliaceae)

The graceful habit of Limes has captured the attention of Landscape Architects and Garden Designers for decades. Trained in a formal fashion and a clone of Tilia cordata – the ‘Rancho’, is no exception. While the large majority of formal trees look unkept if left unattended, the Lime just seems to get better the more its foliage tumbles from mature branches.

The Rancho differs from the ‘Greenspire’ in a number of respects – it has a more compact uniform habit and it is smaller too making it popular for pleached tree training (the cordata is best suited to being trained as espalier). Achieving a height of 10-15m, young trees have narrow crowns while with age they gradually become more rounded. The bark on fresh young branches and twigs is green but this colour changes gradually to reddish-brown and finally dark brown as each season passes. The bark on old limbs is grooved and against fresh new lime green foliage the contrast is superb. It produces a beautiful floral display and distinctive fragrance while having distinctive small leaves filling a dense crown. The leaves are 5-10cm long, dark green and shiny and heart shaped. In June to July yellow to cream coloured fragrant flowers arrive in umbrels, valuable to honeybees and butterflies.

The tree tolerates paving and hard landscaping extremely well, it is winter and frost hardy, has very good resistance to wind and will tolerate any soil conditions including slightly wet and dry soil. If you are looking for a tree which will tolerate being planted close to the sea the ‘Rancho’ needs to be on your list of preferred species. The ‘Rancho’ thrives in urban settings amongst hard and soft landscaping and in its natural form it looks fantastic, planted in avenues, along drives and pathways.

Available as high pleached limes or low pleached trees, high and low espalier trees, clear stem trees and block or box on stem. Available as rootball plants in the winter months, potted stock available while stocks last and cocoa rootball can be arranged for delivery throughout summer period by prior arrangement. The ‘Rancho’ is relatively unknown in the United Kingdom, where the ‘Greenspire’ is usually specified instead. If you are looking for smaller compact Lime tree, the ‘Rancho’ is a popular choice.

Planting advice for Pleached trees and Espalier trees in the UK.

An important consideration when planting pleached Lime trees in a straightfreshly pleached trees ready to be planted line is the slope of the ground. Pleached or Espalier trees look their best when they are planted on flat or gently sloping ground. Doing so will line up the frames and stems and creating effect of one continuous line when viewed at all angles. Even on a gradual slope this effect can be achieved. However, with a slope of more than 10-12 degrees, it may be necessary to step the trees/frames when planting (the frames on freshly pleached trees can be manipulated to account for a sharper slope of perhaps 15 degree if necessary).

To create a good visual effect, it is important to line up the stems and frames (unless you are planting them in a circle or semi-circle). To start off the planting holes should measure roughly double the width of the rootball or pot….

Read our full planting guide here

How are Pleached Trees made?

freshly pleaching trees on framePleached trees or screen trees start life as a seedling or cutting, much like any other tree, being repotted or replanted a number of times in their formative years. They grow happily on the nursery with hundreds or even thousands of other trees. When the time is right, highly skilled nurserymen and woman go out into the field amongst the trees with tags in hand and pick the very best trees for pleaching. The criteria for choosing the best trees for training includes, selecting those with the straightest stems, healthy root stock and appropriately spreading and uninform crowns. Once tagged and lifted the trees are loaded onto trailers and sent to potting sheds for training. Read our full guide to pleaching trees here

Delivery of pleached limes varies depending on:lifting large plants over a house

  • How many trees you require
  • If you want us to plant them
  • Accessibility of the site
  • If any need sourcing
  • The seasonal ability to lift or plant specific species

    Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

We Have Many More Pleached Species Available

Read more about pleached trees or click on a particular species below.


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