American Linden

Flower detail


The American linden tree is known for its large and generously apportioned leaves as well as its soft and pliable bark that make it a favorite of landscapers and woodworkers. Its flowers also help to create a delectable honey.

More detail: American linden as our Tree of the Month.

Common Name

American linden or basswood

Latin Name

Tilia Americana


Heart-shaped leaves are mostly asymmetrical with glossy green color on top; serrated and oblong


Small, clustered white flowers with 5-6 narrow, fluted petals


Tiny fruit, resembling peas, always hang from a curious, ribbon-like, greenish yellow brac


Smooth, reddish-green, becoming light gray in their second year, finally dark brown or brownish gray, marked with dark wart-like excrescence


Gray to light brown, with narrow, well-defined fissures


The crown is domed, the branches spreading, often pendulous


Usually grows 60 to 120 feet tall

Native Range

Native to eastern North America, from southeast Manitoba east to New Brunswick, southwest to northeast Texas, and southeast to South Carolina


Large deciduous tree

Seasonal Colors

Leaves turn a yellow-green to yellow in the fall


Moist, well-drained soils are the best for this tree


Prefers full sun to partial shade

Similar Species

Little leaf linden, large leaf linden, silver linden

Pests and Diseases

This species is particularly susceptible to adult Japanese beetles (an invasive species in North America) that feed on its leaves, but otherwise has few issues.

Rebate Eligibility


Of Note

Tilia trees are known to have reached ages measured in centuries, if not longer.

They are very important honey plants for beekeepers, producing a very pale but richly flavored monofloral honey.

It is a common wood for use in the production of solid body electric guitars, where it is considered an analogue for aspen and poplar, because it is light, strong and resonant.

Photo Credits

Martin LaBar