And this forum is interested in threads on regional trees as well!
Well, under that motto poasted in the guidelines for this forum, let me be the first to address this tree that is close to my heart and soul and that is not in "the" Ogham, but without which "my" Ogham would not be complete.
Linden Trees (Tilia, basswood)
What do tree names tell us? The German name for Tilia is Linde – and the verb that goes with it, lindern, is “to soothe, to calm, to make better” – normally used in reference to illnesses and pain. Linde and Elder are the only trees in Germany where every part has medicinal value. The flowers, leaves, and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are used for medicinal purposes. Active ingredients in the Tilia flowers include flavonoids (which act as antioxidants), volatile oils, and mucilaginous constituents (which soothe and reduce inflammation). The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent. In Germany, Tilia flowers are used medicinally for colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine), as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces smooth muscle spasm along the digestive tract), and sedative. Bees love the Linden and a richly flavoured monofloral honey is produced from them.
Even more than the Oak, Linde is the typical tree of Germany. The Germanic tribes honored them as the “Tree of Life and Love” and saw their Goddess Freya in them, which may be due to the heart-shaped leaves and the sweet smell of the blossoms. They were symbols of peace and truth; the tribes held court under the Linden that was typically planted in the middle of the village. No lie, it was said, could be spoken under a Linden tree and throughout the Middle Ages, justice was spoken there.
Linden trees were considered sacred and special even by the Christian church; their wood is almost free of markings and very light, so Christian woodcarvers of the likes of the famous Tilmann Riemenschneider would carve altar pieces and statues from it. “Minnesinger” starting with Walter von der Vogelweide would often include the Linden in their songs for its sweet-smelling flowers. German literature and songs overflow with references to the Linden whenever there is need of emotion, femininity – or fey magic. In the “Nibelungenlied”, the invincible hero Siegfried has a Linden leaf stuck to his shoulder when he immerses himself in the dragon’s blood, leaving that heart-shaped space vulnerable and ultimately leading to his death. More practical, the bast scraped from young shoots makes a very strong fibre that could be used to weave clothing or for household and farm applications.
For ages before urbanization set in, Linden trees were the places the community met to talk, dance and play. For this reason, “Linde” is typically still found in the names of Restaurants and hotels. It conjures up images of home, food, welcome, good company. The famous German “Beergarden” used to be covered by Linden trees that gave shade to guests and beer cellars alike. Their shallow roots allowed them to be planted over the cellars and not cause damage.
Many German cities and places derive their name from “Linde”, such as Lindau but also Leipzig (from the Czech version of the name). Linden Trees would be planted to commemorate special events or existing trees named after famous people who gave speeches there, such as Martin Luther. Linden Trees can reach an age of 1000 years and their trunks a cross section of 2 meters. Germany’s oldest tree, it is said, is a Linde that may have been planted in the year 760, according to an inscription. Throughout Germany, there are many more Linden Trees of 800 to 900 years of age.