TREES & plants

American Sentry® linden

The American Sentry linden is reported to have some resistance to Japanese beetle. It is a dense shade tree with heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers; this cultivar is particularly symmetrical. 

This plant is a cultivar of a species that is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research. Cultivars are plants produced in cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified to have desirable traits.

Botanical name: 
Tilia americana 'McKSentry'
All Common Names: 
American Sentry® linden, American Sentry® basswood
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area, 
  • Illinois, 
  • North America
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks, 
  • City parkway, 
  • Wide median
Landscape Uses: 
  • Parkway/street, 
  • Shade tree, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Mature Height: 
40-45 feet
Mature Width: 
25-30 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3, 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Intolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Spring blossoms, 
  • Fall color, 
  • Fragrant flowers, 
  • Persistent fruit/seeds, 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early summer, 
  • Mid summer, 
  • Late summer, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant, 
  • Yellow
Shape or Form: 
  • Pyramidal
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
  • Butterflies
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Best in moist, well-drained soils.  Adaptable to alkaline soils.

Disease, pests, and problems

Aphids and linden borer are possible insect problems.
Anthracnose and Verticillium wilt are possible fungal problems.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Shows some resistance to Japanese beetles.

Native geographic location and habitat

A cultivated variety of a native tree.

Bark color and texture 

Gray, ridged and furrowed.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate, heart-shaped leaves ranging from 4 to 8 inches long.  Margins are coarsely toothed.  Summer color is dark green above and lighter green on the lower surface.  Fall color pale yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Creamy yellow flowers in hanging clusters (5 to 10 flowers per cluster) in early summer.  Each cluster is accompanied by a long, strap-shaped bract.  Very fragrant.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruits are small, round nutlets, accompanied by a long strap-like bract.

Tilia americana 'McKSentry' or American Sentry® linden