American basswood bark

Common Name: American basswood

Scientific Name: 
Family: Tiliaceae
Genus: Tilia 
Species: americana

Hardiness Zone: 2 to 8
Height: 50 to 80 ft
Width: 30 to 50 ft

Description: American linden or American basswood is a popular and common street tree in Minnesota. Leaves are large (up to 6 inches), ovate, and dark green with acuminate tips, serrate margins, and uneven cordate bases. It is a medium to large tree, typically 50-80 feet tall at maturity with a rounded crown. Its native range includes Minnesota and extends across the eastern half of North America. Native habitats include dry upland areas as well as moist, low woods. It produces fragrant pale yellow flowers in late spring and early summer, which give way to a pair of nutlets subtending a leafy bract. Fall color is an undistinguished pale green to pale yellow. Basswood twigs grow in a zig-zag pattern and can be green, red, or brown in color. The buds, like the twigs, can be green or red. The bark on an American basswood tree tends to be gray or brown with shallow, flat-topped ridges. 

American basswood fruit
American basswood foliage
American basswood bud
American basswood bark







American basswood is a very popular street tree in Minnesota. The wood is soft and has a fine grain, making it a popular choice for wood carving. The tree’s fragrant flowers attract pollinators and are a good choice for nectar in city areas where there are not many gardens or wild flowers. Honey made from these flowers is a prized gourmet food item, and the flowers can also be used to make tea. Basswood seeds are often eaten by chipmunks and squirrels.

Tilia americana 'Redmond'. Missouri Botanical Garden. Found online:

American Basswood. Campus Tees, University of Minnesota. Found online: