American Basswood, American Linden, Whitewood, Beetree Linden

Tilia americana

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tilia (TIL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: americana (a-mer-ih-KAY-na) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Denver, Colorado

Prospect, Connecticut

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Hinsdale, Illinois

Urbana, Illinois

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Worcester, Massachusetts

Fennville, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Media, Pennsylvania

Lexington, Virginia

Neshkoro, Wisconsin

Sheridan, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 25, 2015, nlafrance3 from Edmonton, AB (Zone 4a) wrote:

There are thousands of these in Edmonton, Ab. Fantastic shape and central leader. Becomes a very large, towering tree up to at least 80 feet if not higher. Tree is hardy to at least zone 2a. I have seen it growing large in far north Alberta.


On Feb 23, 2015, vinniefloyd131 from Worcester, MA wrote:

I had(recently removed, sadly)two of the American basswood trees in front of my home. The shade these trees provided was incredible. They were also fragrant, and extremely unique to my area Worcester MA. Downsides, in bloom they created sticky, sap like discharge as well as denying any other plants in my yard water. They would dry out consistently, and the branches were not resistant to heavy winds.


On Dec 29, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a common forest tree in various spots over a wide range where the soil is normally barely acid or alkaline. It makes a good shade tree that is windfirm with little yellow flowers that smell so good in June and are loved by bees and other pollinators. The leaves are about 4 to 8" long, bigger than any European species, and they develop a good golden fall color. Basswood grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 150 to 200 years. It is very shade tolerant as a young tree, which is why it does well in forest. It is sensitive to salt, air pollution, and compacted soils, so it is not for a difficult urban spot.


On Feb 9, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

The soft wood is a favorite of carvers.


On Sep 7, 2003, Glowclubbr from Silver Spring, MD wrote:

I find that some American Lindens scorch in hot summers, and I would like to hear experience with Asian Lindens. Many such as the large, extremely beautiful T. oliveri, should grow very well in hot summer climates but remain extremely rare.


On Feb 2, 2002, activex wrote:

Basswoods are revered for their usefulness for providing shade and their soft wood for widdling and carving. The basswood's flowers yield the most desirable honey for bees. The American Basswood (Tilia americana) is the northern-most representative of the basswoods.

What to look for: Leaves shiny green, heart-shaped with pointed tips and saw toothed around edges. Strap like bracts with hanging flowers.

Habitat: Uplands, hardwood forests, cities and valleys in damp loam.

Size: 70 -80 feet tall. Leaves 5 - 6" long.