Tilia americana (Basswood/Linden) - Qt Super Plugs


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A common tree throughout Eastern woodlands, Basswood is a tree that is commonly found in mesic upland forests.  Basswood ranges from Maine to North Dakota, south to Oklahoma and Virginia, as well as in the higher elevation Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina.  Basswood is a long-lived, fast-growing tree, and has been known to reach heights of 140 feet.  Basswood is a very attractive tree, forming a pyramidal shape.  The large, heart-shaped leaves can be 10 inches across on young trees, providing a bold texture.  Basswood flowers in early summer, and the sweet-scented blooms are frequented by honeybees, which make a delicious honey from the tree.  Another common name for Basswood is American Linden, as the tree is in the Tilia genus.  In form, Basswood is like an oversized European linden (Tilia cordata), featuring similar outline, leaf shape and blooms.

Basswood Uses

Basswood is a very useful tree, especially for habitat conservation and improvement - The light, soft wood is somewhat prone to heart rot, which leaves excellent nesting cavities for nuthatches, wrens, and woodpeckers.  Bigger trees can even host raccoons!  Basswood is moderately tolerant of intermittent flooding, as can happen along larger creeks.  Basswood grows very quickly, as well, which is a good bonus when starting new forestry plantings.  The trees are also very shade tolerant, putting on decent growth even in relatively heavy shade. 

Basswood makes an excellent shade tree, growing quickly and casting a dense, cool shade.  The leaves can be huge on saplings - We've seen foot-wide leaves on some of the saplings around the nursery!  More common leaf size is 6-8 inches on mature trees.  Basswood is also resistant to 2-4-d damage - For this reason, it makes a good tree for farm hedgerows and golf course shade trees.

Basswood is also an exceptional honey tree - While it can take up to 15 years to begin blooming, our well-established Root Pouch trees can be expected to bloom much more quickly if planted in the open and protected from weeds and competition.  The few large basswoods around the nursery give off an audible buzz when the flowers come out in late June - This is a potent pollinator plant!

Basswood is has a light, neutral-grained low-density wood - It is often used for turned objects such as bowls and carved wood art.  Commercially, it is used for pallet making and veneer - Basswood is commercially grown in the Great Lakes region in forestry plantings.

How to Grow Basswood

Basswood is very easy to grow, tolerating dry soils as well as fairly moist.  Best growth occurs on well-drained yet moist upland soils.  Basswood is very fast growing when young, often growing 5 feet in one season.  For this reason,  Basswood is an excellent yard tree.  Basswood does have the capacity to become a huge tree fairly quickly, so make sure to keep it a little away from any structures!

Our Quart SuperPlug liners are well-rooted and about 12-24" tall, and will establish very quickly.  Plant Basswood in mid-Spring after the soil has warmed up for best growth, though fall planting works well, too.  If you plant your basswoods in the Autumn, make sure to put a 2-inch layer of hardwood bark mulch around the seedling to prevent frost heave in the winter.  After planting, make sure to provide water for about a month if the weather is dry; Basswood roots fairly quickly and is reasonably drought-tolerant when established.

Common Name: Basswood / American Linden
Botanical Name: Tilia americana
Mature Height: 100+ ft.
Mature Width: 50+ ft.
Form: Pyramidal (when young)
Light Exposure: Sun to Shade
Moisture: Mesic to Dry
Hardiness Zones: 2-8


  • 5
    Tilia americana

    Posted by H Davis on Nov 28th 2020

    Great communication, easy ordering, and plants arrived looking healthy. Thank you!

  • 5
    American Linden Trees

    Posted by John on Oct 17th 2020

    When our trees arrived we transplanted them immediately. After three weeks they look as if they grew there natively. They arrived well packed and in great condition. It was a delight to acquire these and to see them prosper so well. Will order these and others from the nursery again!

  • 5
    Tilia americana (Basswood/Linden

    Posted by Jeff Forry on Sep 17th 2019

    Ordering on line was easy shipping was prompt and this tree arrived in good condition.

  • 5
    Basswood plugs

    Posted by Barbara Hinsz on Sep 15th 2019

    I was impressed that I received an email asking if the delivery date of my tree plugs would work for me. They arrived looking very healthy I am happy with my purchase! :)

  • 5

    Posted by Jodi Smith on Jul 30th 2019

    The trees arrived as nicely rooted, healthy 20" saplings. GreenTec took special care to consider predicted weather, when arranging the shipping date. The trees didn't show any signs of stress from shipping.
    Of course, I will know more in a few years, when the trees grow up.