Choosing A Basswood Finish What You Need To Know
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Choosing A Basswood Finish What You Need To Know

A characteristic of basswoods is their large heart-shaped, asymmetrical leaves with coarsely serrated margins and pointed tips. Another identification feature of basswood trees identification is their silvery-gray bark on young trees that becomes furrowed, rough, and dark gray. Today, after centuries of use for creation of smaller household items, the use case of this type of wood has shifted into two categories - commercial and small scale. Commercially, Basswood is used extensively for production of window shutters and blinds, plywood, veneer, wood pulp and fiber products . One of the easiest ways to find basswood is in modern aquariums - air pushed through the basswood grain produces consistently fine bubbles.

what is basswood

American basswood leaves are some of the largest of all the broadleaf trees in the US. The huge heart-shaped leaves are easy to spot with their rough, serrated margins, pointed tip, and prominent yellowish veins. Some of the larger linden leaves are bigger than your hand. This characteristic of basswood trees adds to their appeal as shade trees. Identify American basswood trees by their clusters of creamy or yellowish fragrant flowers attached to long leaf-like bracts.

Where Do American Basswood Trees Grow?

You can eat flowers, the leaf buds and young leaves raw. Depending on where they are growing, basswood trees are also called Linden trees. They are called such outside of the western hemisphere. They are all part of the Tilia genus but are different species. Though sometimes the American basswood is also referred to as an American linden. Additionally, basswood flowers are called linden flowers.

And though the wood is both lightweight and soft, it has an outstanding MOE-to-weight ratio. However, its MOR is on par with its low weight; simply put, when put under stress, the wood will remain stiff, but will still break at a relatively average weight. The Linden was also a highly symbolic and hallowed tree to the Germanic people in their native pre-Christian mythology. Slavic people used to plant linden close to churches, houses, and important meetings places. They believed that lightening would not hit the holy tree, so people hid underneath it during thunderstorms. Bast obtained from the inside of the bark of the Tilia tree has been used by the Ainu people of Japan to weave their traditional clothing, the attus.

  • When dry, the wood has no characteristic odor or taste.
  • Basswood trees are also a source of high-quality honey.
  • Leaves are an important source of food for various caterpillars of lepidopteran species .
  • Now, just to be clear, brush-on sealants do a much better job of coating surface areas.
  • People also were making talismans of the linden wood.

And, apparently, balsa is very strong relative to its weight. Balsa wood is, according to the experts, easy to work and sand, but should be cut with sharp edges. It also is better to glue it than use nails or screws. I honestly didn’t realize that until I started researching this. The balsa tree is a fast grower and ready for harvest in about five to six years. It’s also the lightest weight wood at six to nine pounds per cubic foot — whatever that means.

Report This Ad1 Thought On what Is Basswood?

The tree isn't picky about soil acidity and is happy in anything from highly acidic to highly alkaline soils. In summer, the basswood produces creamy white to pastel yellow bracts of perfect flowers, which means that the flowers have both male and female parts. Linden flower honey produced by bees that frequent the trees is highly prized, according to North Dakota State University Extension's website. The flowers can produce abundant pollen that not only attracts butterflies and bees but may also aggravate allergies in susceptible persons. Pea-sized, winged nutlets with thick skins appear after the blooms fade. Still, we are talking about one and the same tree species here.

Basswood Trunk And Branches

Basswood trees are not fussy or high-maintenance and tend to live about 150 years. You’ll see why below, but it really has nothing to do with the density of the wood. That said, basswood, supposedly, never splinter or crack. The tree is also well known as a honey or bee-tree, and the seeds and twigs are eaten by wildlife.

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