Climbing tree Linden (Tilia cordata, or Tilia x vulgaris)
Common linden, also known as common lime, is a large-leaved tree that grows in much of Europe, with the exception of Northern England, Scotland, Iceland and the northernmost parts of Scandinavia. Linden arrived in Finland about 6,000 years ago. Wild lime trees grow south of the Joensuu-Pietarsaari line, elsewhere in Finland they are found only in parks and as ornamental plants. Linden is rare in Finnish forests, but quite common in Estonia and Latvia, as well as in southern Sweden. The tree is grown as a street tree as far north as Rovaniemi.
Unlike other deciduous hardwood species, linden is not very fussy about its habitat. That is why it is such a popular park tree in the world, including Finland. It grows happily in groves, mixed forests as well as along streams, or in parks. In Finland, it survives the winter well in zones south of Oulu.
Linden wood is a good choice for woodcarvings, picture frames, musical instruments and ornaments. In the past, until the industrial era, linden was an important source of tough and high-quality bast fibre, which was collected from the inner bark of the tree. Bast fibre was used to make mats and carpets, sacks and other household items. In Tuusula, ropes and flour sacks made of linden bast were standard equipment in the garrisons of the Tsarist Russian Army. In their free time, soldiers and their wives would work with linden bast to make everyday utensils.
This tree fell in summer 2020 during a thunderstorm, as the base of its stem had rotted over the decades. The tree was trimmed and left to lie in the museum yard. If you want to play and if you are careful, you can climb the tree trunk – at your own risk. The inspiration for this climbing tree came from a museum trip to Kensington Park in the UK, where tree trunks and rocks had been left on the ground for children to climb.