Basswood

Silhouette - basswood
  • Latin name: Tilia americana L.
  • French name: Tilleul d'Amérique
  • Synonym(s): American linden
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 21536
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf - basswood

Form

  • Thick, tip elongated
  • Tufts of hair in the vein axils

Length

  • 12–15 mm

Colour

  • Upper surface dull green
  • Lower surface lighter green

Margin

  • Teeth sharp, gland-tipped

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - basswood

Form

  • Hairless
  • Leaf scars semi-oval with 5–10 vein scars

Length

  • 5–7 mm

Colour

  • Often reddish

Twigs

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - basswood

Form

  • Hairless

Colour

  • Yellowish-brown

Flowers

Form

  • Fragrant

Width

  • 11–13 mm

Colour

  • Creamy yellow

Structure

  • Synoecious

Floral timing

  • July, after the leaves are fully grown

Fruits

  • Fruit (left); seed (right) - basswood

Form

  • Coated with hairs

Width

  • 8–12 mm

Colour

  • Hairs brownish

Timing

  • Abundant seed crops every year

Bark

Form

  • Thin, smooth when young
  • Develops long, narrow, flat-topped ridges transversely divided into short blocks

Colour

  • Light greenish-brown when young, becoming dark greyish-brown

Wood

Uses

  • Handcarving and turnery; interior trim, veneer, plywood, and furniture parts

Size

Height

  • To 35 m

Diameter

  • To 100 cm

Maximum age

  • 200 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - basswood

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Straight, distinct well into the crown

Crown

  • Symmetrical, smooth, rounded
  • Branches spreading out and ascending at the tips

Habitat

Site

  • Moist slopes that face north and east

Light tolerance

  • Very shade-tolerant

Associated species

  • In mixed stands with other broadleaf trees such as sugar maple, American beech, white ash, and red oak
Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
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  • Basswood
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Distribution map
Distribution map - basswood
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