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’s Tree of the Month.
American linden or basswood
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 to eastern North America, from southeast Manitoba east to New Brunswick, southwest to northeast Texas, and southeast to South Carolina
Large deciduous tree
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
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.
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.