Basswood (Tilia spp.), also known as lime in England and Europe, consists of 30 species in Eurasia and 5 in North America. All species look alike microscopically. A The word Tilia is the classical Latin name, probably from the Greek ptilon, wing, referring to the wing bract of flower clusters.

The wood is light and soft with generally low strength properties and a poor steam bending classification. The sapwood of Basswood is usually quite large and creamy white in color, merging into the heartwood which is pale to reddish brown, sometimes with darker streaks. The wood has a fine uniform texture and indistinct grain that is straight. When dry, the wood has no characteristic odor or taste.


Principally the northern and lake states.

Working Properties

Basswood works easily with tools, making it a premier carving wood. It is poor in holding nails and in bending, but moderate in gluing and good for holding paint or printing inks.


Rated as slightly or nonresistant to heartwood decay.


Carvings, signs, toys, sporting goods, wooden ware, veneer, caskets, furniture, mobile homes, plywood.