North American species is reported to be distributed in Manitoba,
New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan in Canada.
Its growth range in the United States is reported to include
Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia,
Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland,
Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North
Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Great Smoky Mountain National Park,
Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin,
and West Virginia. The tree is reported to prefer moist soils
of valleys and uplands and is usually found growing in hardwood
General Characteristics: The
large tree, usually with a long trunk, is reported to mature
to a height of about 60 to 100 feet (18 to 30 m), with
a trunk diameter of about 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm).
The heartwood ranges in color from creamy-white to pale
pinkish-brown. The wood is reported to be similar to European
lime (Tilia vulgaris ) in appearance, grain and texture;
The sapwood is described as creamy white or pale brown
in color and merges somewhat gradually into the heartwood.
The sapwood is reported to be sometimes marketed as 'white
basswood. Texture is typically fine and uniform; the grain
is typically straight, and fine. Freshly-milled wood is
reported to have a faint distinct odor, especially when
wet. There is no characteristic taste.
Weight: Basic specific gravity
(ovendry weight/green volume) 0.40; air-dry density 26
Working Properties: Blunting
effect on cutting tools is rated as slight. The wood is
reported to cut and saw without difficulty. Planing operations
are reported to be rather easy, but the wood is soft and
requires sharp tools for best results. The material turns
fairly easily, and turned surfaces are generally clean.
The wood is reported to require care in moulding operations.
The material responds readily to very sharp machine tools
to yield clean surfaces in boring operations. Mortising
operations are reported to be relatively easy, but it requires
some care for good results. Basswood is reported to be
a popular choice among hobbyist for modeling ships, airplanes,
and wood sculpturing. The wood has good gluing properties. Basswood
nails easily but nail-holding qualities are rated as only
fair since the wood is soft. The wood is reported to have
satisfactory screw-holding characteristics. Sanding properties
are reported to be fair. Polishing properties are reported
to be generally good. Staining is reported to be less than
satisfactory because of the soft texture of the wood. The
material has very poor steam bending properties. Basswood
is reported to respond well to enamel. Varnishing qualities
are reported to be generally good.
Durability: The wood is
reported to have little natural resistance to attack by
fungi and other wood destroying organisms. Logs are susceptible
to attack by the longhorn beetle while the sapwood is prone
to attack by the common furniture beetle.
Preservation: The wood is
reported to be responsive to treatment, but its normal
uses usually does not require it to be treated.