Tilia americana

 

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Family: Tiliaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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American Basswood

 

 

 

Basswood (Tilia spp.), also known as lime in England and Europe, consists of 30 to 35 species native to Eurasia [30] and North America [4]. All species look alike microscopically. A favorite wood for carvings, such as those by Grinling Gibbons (England, 1670-1710). The word tilia is the classical Latin name, probably from the Greek ptilon, wing, referring to the wing like bract of flower clusters.

North American species are:

Tilia americana*-American basswood, American limetree, American linden, American whitewood, Amerikaanse linde, Amerikanische linde, Amerikansk lind, bass-tree, basswood, bee-tree, black limetree, gray linden, lein, limetree, linden, linn, linn-tree, spoonwood, svart-lind, tiglio americano, tiglo americano, tilleul americain, tilleul noir, tilo americano, white linn, whitewood, wickup, yellow basswood.

Tilia caroliniana*-Amerikaanse linde, Amerikansk lind, basswood, Carolina basswood, Carolina linde, Carolina linden, downy basswood, Florida basswood, Florida linden, linden, southern basswood, tiglio Americano, tilleul Americain, tilleul de Caroline, tilo Americano, tilo de Carolina.

Tilia heterophylla*-American lime, Amerikaanse linde, Amerikansk lind, basswood, bee-tree, beetree linden, Tiglio Americano, Tilleul Americain, Tilo Americano, Tuleul Americain, white basswood.

* commercial species

 

Distribution

The natural range of American basswood is from southwestern New Brunswick to central Quebec, Ontario and southeast Manitoba, south to eastern North Dakota and northeastern Oklahoma to northern Arkansas and Tennessee, east to North Carolina, and north to Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

 

The Tree

American basswood grows to co-dominance in association with sugar maple and red oak/white ash forests, while it is a minor component in other forest types. It can grow to an elevation of 5,000 ft (1524 m) in the Appalachians. The tree can reach a height of 120 ft (37 m), with a diameter of almost 5 ft (1.5 m). Basswood may grow to be more than 140 years old. The trees have straight trunks, with most of the bole limb-free, and narrow, short crowns. The trees grow as a cluster of stems, developed from stump sprouts. The bark is initially dark green and shiny, developing to a grayish color with deep furrows.

The Wood

General

The sapwood of basswood is white to cream, while the heartwood is pale to reddish brown, with darker streaks. When dry, the wood has no characteristic odor or taste. The wood is soft and light, with a fine, even texture.

 

 

 

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

x106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Green

0.32

1.04

5,000

2,220

170

5.3

250

600

Dry

0.37

1.46

8,700

4,730

370

7.2

410

990

aWML = Work to maximum load.

Reference (98).

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Tangential

9.3

7.4

3.1

2.2

6.6

5.3

2.2

15.8

15.8

12.6

5.3

References: 0% MC (98),
6% and 20% MC (90).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

 

Stock

Condition

4/4, 5/4, 6/4

8/4

10/4

12/4

16/4

Standard

T12-E7

T10-E6

Lighter color

T9-E7

T7-E6

aReferences (6, 86).

Working Properties: American 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.

Durability: Rated as slightly or nonresistant to heartwood decay.

Preservation: No information available at this time.

Uses: Lumber, veneer, plywood, carvings, pulp, decoys, fiber products, furniture stock, caskets, mobile homes, shade rollers, signs, toys, sporting goods, wooden ware, and novelties.

 

Toxicity: No information available at this time.

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

6. Boone, R.S.; Kozlik, C.J.; Bois, P.J.; Wengert, E.M. 1988. Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods-temperate and tropical. Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-57. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

29. Elias, T.S. 1980. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. New York: van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

47. Kallio, E.; Godman, R.M. 1973. American basswood, an American wood. FS-219. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

55. Little, Jr., E.L. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

59. Markwardt, L.J.; Wilson, T.R.C. 1935. Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States. Tech. Bull. 479. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

68. Panshin, A.J.; de Zeeuw, C. 1980. Textbook of wood technology, 4th ed. New York: McGraw—Hill Book Co..

74. Record, S.J.; Hess R.W. 1943. Timbers of the new world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

86. Simpson, W.T. 1991. Dry kiln operator's manual. Ag. Handb. 188. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

90. Summitt, R.; Sliker, A. 1980. CRC handbook of materials science. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc. Vol. 4.

98. ?U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1987. Wood handbook: wood as an engineering material. Agric. Handb. 72. (Rev.) Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 466 p.