American basswood
Tilia americana

American basswood is a deciduous tree of many uses. The relatively soft wood is valued for hand carving. The flower nectar makes choice honey, and the seeds, buds, and twigs are eaten by a variety of wildlife. American basswood is also tolerant of a range of soils and moisture regimes, and is planted widely as a shade tree.

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Growth   Size

Timber Value

      American basswood is used for wood carving, cooperage, excelsior, boxes, veneer, and pulpwood. The bark is used for rope, baskets, mats, and nets.


Wildlife Value
      Bees utilize the abundant nectar. Seeds are eaten by mice, voles, chipmunks, and squirrels. Deer browse twigs and foliage.
          Attracts: mice, voles, chipmunks, squirrels, deer, wood ducks, pileated woodpeckers

Regeneration methods
      American basswood is shade tolerant and regenerated by a number of methods, provided site quality is good. Clearcuts, shelterwoods, group and single tree selections work. Vigorous stump sprouting compliments seeding.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
gypsy moth (New England) tattered, chewed leaves; defoliation

Fun facts
Tilia is a useful tree - the inner bark may be woven into rope, the wood is soft and easy to carve, the flowers make an excellent honey, the buds are edible and the big, soft, papery leaves are the woodsman's friend. The name basswood refers to "bass cloth" made from the fibrous bark of the tree.
Tilia: Latin name of Linden / americana: of America
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu