Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

American Basswood  
Tilia americana 

Leaves are simple, alternate, deciduous, heart-shaped and finely toothed with an uneven base. Twigs are zigzag with red-green ovoid buds with 2-4 scales. Bark is gray-brown and smooth becoming grooved with shallow interlacing ridges. Fruit is a nutlet attached to a leaf-like bract. American basswood is found on fertile, mesic sites in the east and central U.S. and is tolerant of shade. The soft, pale wood is used for plywood, furniture, boxes and turnery. The inner bark was used for making ropes. Flowers are popular with bees (basswood honey). Form is up to 36 m (120 ft) tall and 1.2 m (4 ft) in diameter. Sprouting results in clumps of trees.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: