Carolina basswoods are smaller trees, normally growing 20 to 40 feet tall with a trunk less than two feet in diameter. It is commonly planted as a shade tree in urban areas of the eastern states where it is called American linden. The tree is also well known as a honey or bee-tree, and the seeds and twigs are eaten by wildlife. Basswood flowers produce an abundance of nectar from which choice honey is made. If you cut down a Basswood tree, the stump quickly sends up numerous young shoots, each of which can grow into a tree. It is very similar to American linden, except that the lower sides of the leaves are covered with dense hairs, giving a white appearance. Carolina basswood (var. Buds are edible but very mucilaginous. The name basswood came from a use made by native Americans of using its fibrous, tough inner bark or "bast" for making cords, thongs and ropes. A basal shoot rising from the roots or from a bud at the base of a shrub or tree. Ash trees have compound leaves, which are leaves that are made up of multiple leaflets instead of a single leaf. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters. A grove of three Basswood trees growing close together. Virens (Latin for greening)/Flickr/CC BY 2.0. An attractive shade tree, the American basswood can grow as tall at 60 to 80 feet with a round and lush crown made up of heart-shaped leaves. Leaves: Alternate, broadly ovate, coarsely saw-toothed, notched at the base. The soft, light wood has many uses as wood products. A strong fibre is obtained from the tree by peeling off the bark and soaking it in water for a month, after which the inner fibres can be easily separated. Basswood bark typically divides into vertical plates. This means that pairs of branches extend off of the tree from the same point but on opposite sides. heterophylla white basswood (Tilia americana var. In fact, in some parts of its range basswood is known as the bee-tree. The tree makes an excellent landscape plant with some tolerance to urban conditions depending on the cultivar. heterophylla) is found from Missouri to Alabama. Its whiteish flowers are typically in bloom by mid-June and fill the summer air with a pleasant fragrance. Life expectancy is around 200 years, with flowering and seeding generally occurring between 15 and 100 years, though occasionally seed production may start as early as 8 years. In addition to being a majestic tree in the landscape, basswood is a soft, light wood and prized for hand carvings and making baskets. Ash trees always have opposite branching. The rich green upper side of the leaf is in contrast to the underleaf's paler green to almost-white color. American basswood ranges from southwestern New Brunswick and New England west in Quebec and Ontario to the southeast corner of Manitoba; south through eastern North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas to northeastern Oklahoma; east to northern Arkansas, Tennessee, western North Carolina; and northeast to New Jersey. The greatest species diversity of the lindens is found in Asia. It grows faster than many North American hardwoods, often twice the annual growth rate of American beech and many birch species. Tilia americana is known in North America as basswood, white basswood, bast, American linden, bass, linn, and beetree. Throughout the eastern United States, basswood is frequently planted along city streets. This is a common trait of this species. The rich green upper side of the leaf is in contrast to the underleaf's paler green to almost-white color. The inner bark, or bast, can be used as a source of fiber for making rope or for weaving such items as baskets and mats. The basswood's small greenish flowers are uniquely attached and hanging under a pale, leaflike bract. Basswood's asymmetrical and lopsided heart-shaped leaf is the largest of all broadleaf trees, nearly as wide as it is long at between 5 and 8 inches. The basswood's small greenish flowers are uniquely attached and hanging under a pale, leaflike bract. The tree frequently has two or more trunks and vigorously sprouts from stumps as well as seed. Basswood Tree Identification. In fact, in some parts of its range basswood is known as the bee-tree, and can even be identified by the honey bee traffic. American basswood is an important timber tree, especially in the Great Lakes States. White basswood (var. Basswood is ideal for carving, as it doesn't splinter easily. The resulting seeds are in a hard, dry, hairy, nutlike fruit, which is quite visible during the fruiting season. This fast-grower can sometimes grow as much as 24 inches a year and needs plenty of space to flourish. American basswood is a large and rapid-growing tree of eastern and central North America. The leaf of the linden is much smaller than basswood and typically, it is a much smaller tree. var. Pioneers dubbed it "bastwood" leading to its common name of today. The rich green upper side of the leaf is in contrast to the underleaf's paler green to almost-white color. Comments: Species in the Tilia genus are usually referred to as either Lime or Linden in Europe, while in North America it’s most commonly called Basswood. Also, take a close look at the twigs and you will see them zigzag between oval buds with one or two bud scales. It is the northernmost basswood species. The American basswood is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree reaching a height of 18 to 37 m (60 to 120 ft) exceptionally 39 m (128 ft) with a trunk diameter of 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) at maturity. Steve Nix is a natural resources consultant and a former forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama. It exists only scattered in pockets throughout Europe and eastern North America. This tree should not be confused with the non-native urban basswood called little leaf linden or Tilia cordata. The trees are sometimes called "lime" in Britain and "linden" in parts of Europe and North America. It is a perfect shade tree and can be used as a residential street tree. The American basswood (Tilia americana) is the only member of the genus Tilia native to Iowa. Now look at the tree’s leaves. Twig: Moderately stout, zigzag, green (summer) or red (winter); terminal bud is false, each very plump with one side bulging out disproportionately. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters. heterophylla): This tree, once considered a separate species, is now considered a variety of the American linden. Tilia is a genus within the Linden family (Tiliacea). The fast-growing American basswood is among the largest trees of eastern and central North America. Basswood is a prized wood that is relatively soft, works exceptionally well when tooling and is valued for hand carving.