Monday, January 30, 2012

Planting and Growing the American Basswood

Also known as the bee tree or American linden, the American basswood is from the linden family of plants. It is native to the United States. Botanically, it is called Tilia americana.



American Basswood Description

Growing 60 to 80 feet high, the American basswood has a wide spread; going from conical in its youth to round with age. Leaves are oval, green, and turn to yellow or brown in the fall. There are fragrant and non-showy cream-yellow flowers. It may have more than a single trunk.



Growing Guide

This tree doesn't mind what type of lighting it is in, from full sun to full shade. It does prefer well-drained soils that are nearly neutral in pH. Propagate by seed. Seed will need acidic or mechanical scarification and then a moist chill for 90 days.



Distribution

This native is found in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. It is seen in deciduous woods and in ravines.



Herbal Remedy

Basswood flowers have been used for baths and the tea has been said to enhance sleep and remedy common colds. It can be found in some beauty products.



Uses

Native Americans and Early Settlers used the inner bark to make fibers. These fibers made ropes, shoes, thread, and nets. Some Native American tribes carved masks into the trees and then split the mask out of the tree to dry. The mask was thought to have supernatural powers if the tree survived.



Problems

The American basswood is prone to leaf-eating insects. It also has a susceptibility to other insect and disease issues.





Source: NPIN






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