American Basswood

Tilia americana

Native to northeastern North America the basswood is a large tree reaching heights of 80’ and spreads of 40’ at maturity. The leaves on the basswood are large and sharply toothed. It has a very distinct bloom in the early summer, boasting a multitude of white flower clusters, an important source of nectar for honeybees. At maturity the basswood has the equivalent of an acre’s worth of wildflowers in the canopy. Another name for the basswood is the bee tree because once this tree blooms the honeybee will favor it over any other nectar source. Being a prolific basal sprouter wild trees are often multi-stemmed. The bark has long rectangular ridges. Small, round nutlets follow the flowers in the late summer/fall. Native Americans made ropes and woven mats from the tough fibrous inner bark.


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