American Basswood – Tilia Americana
The American Basswood is an impressive tree that grows up to 60-80 feet tall and is usually free from any crooks or defects in its stem. This makes it ideal for higher quality logging products. These trees also tend to grow in an organized and uniform branching structure. This makes them a fan favorite among arborists to prune and maintain. The wood of the American Basswood is soft and light, making cutting through it with a chainsaw feel like butter.
The leaf of the Basswood has a very distinct heart shape to it, with small serrations along the edges. During the winter months, when leaves are absent, this tree can still be identified by its bright red buds. Its bark is very smooth with uniform lines stretching vertically from the base of the tree and up to the crown.
The American Basswood provides benefits to all sorts of wildlife. White-tailed deer enjoy eating its leaves and fruit so much so that they actually threaten to kill younger Basswood trees. The pollen present in the flowers during the summer is also a major attractor to honeybees. The bees also use any hollowed out trunks or stems to store their honey.
– Kate Handberg, GIS Manager