Common Name: American linden
Zone: 2 to 8
Height: 50.00 to 70.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 45.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: Pale yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Drought, Clay Soil
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates some drought. Prefers moist, fertile, well-drained loams. Generally intolerant of air pollution and urban conditions.
American linden or American basswood is noted for its fragrant pale yellow flowers in late spring, small nutlets with attached leafy wings and large ovate dark green leaves (to 6” long) with acuminate tips, serrate margins and uneven cordate bases. It is a medium to large deciduous tree, typically growing to 50-80’ (less frequently to 120’) tall with an ovate, rounded crown. ‘Redmond’ is a dense, broadly pyramidal cultivar that grows to 50-75’ tall and 30-45’ wide. Fragrant, pale yellow flowers in drooping cymes appear in June. When a tree is in full bloom, bees often visit in such abundant numbers that humming can be heard many feet from the tree. Honey made from these flowers is a prized gourmet food item. Flowers give way to nutlets that ripen in late summer but remain on the tree until mid-winter. Large ovate glossy green leaves (4-8” long) turn undistinguished shades of pale green to pale yellow in fall. Winter twigs and buds are red. The common name of basswood is derived from bastwood, in reference to the tough inner bark (bast) which (in the case of the species) has been used to make rope and mats. Synonymous with and formerly known as Tilia x euchlora ‘Redmond’.
No serious insect or disease problems. Verticillium wilt is infrequent, but can be fatal. Powdery mildew, leaf spots and cankers may occur. Insect visitors include aphids, borers, beetles, lacebugs, caterpillars and scale. Spider mites can do significant damage, particularly in hot, dry periods.
Although well adapted to Missouri’s climate, this tree is intolerant of city conditions. Some of the European lindens (see T. cordata, T. tomentosa and T. x europaea) may make better selections for urban areas. May be used as a lawn specimen or shade tree. Needs a large growing space.