Elle from Oudoorhappens.com thought, “Hmmph. If only salad grew on trees… But, what’s that? You say it can?”!
Trees With Edible Leaves – Salad Does Grow on Trees!
We all know what a delight home-grown leaves can be, but as with all annuals there tends to be a lot of time and effort we have to put in to produce them – and all without any promise of success in return.
Planting trees with edible foliage cuts out every last job involved in growing your own leaves, bar picking them and devouring their delicious goodness.
Here’s my rundown of 5 of the very best edible tree leaf crops you can easily grow in a temperate garden.
1. Small Leaved Lime (aka. Small Leaved Linden) – Tilia cordata
Coming in at the top of my list! It really is difficult to beat the young, succulent leaves of Tilia cordata – the Small Leaved Lime or Linden tree.
Excellent eaten straight from the tree, tossed into a mixed salad, or sandwiched between two slices of bread – their subtle nutty flavor and silky texture make them the ideal alternative to lettuce.
Lime leaves are at their very best when the buds are just breaking. They can be enjoyed all the way up until mid-summer, after which they may become a bit “chewy”. You can however extend this season substantially by coppicing some shoots in the spring, which will then burst forth into fresh growth later on. Learn more about coppicing at Verge Permaculture.
Whilst wild specimens of Linden can grow up to an almighty 130 ft high, you have little to worry about if you only have a small garden. Simply cut back your tree’s growth to a manageable size every few years to ensure a steady supply of leaves at a convenient height.
Incredibly easy to grow, and an essential addition for anyone interested in perennial edible gardens. So good that I even made a short video about Linden, which you can watch.