One of the queens of eastern North America's deciduous forests, basswood has large heart-like leaves, deliciously fragrant summertime flowers and an overall majestic structure. A large deciduous tree with a straight trunk, it is more cone-shaped when youthful but matures to a large, rounded to wide-spreading specimen. The bark is gray and smooth at first, becoming gray-brown with distinctive long, furrowed ridges.
In early summer it bears conspicuous, pale greenish yellow flower bracts and clusters of small, yellowish, highly fragrant flowers. They are attractive to honeybees, which make a distinctively flavored honey from the nectar. The fuzzy, whitish yellow nutlets dangled downward with a papery bract (modified leaf) and are most prominent in late summer. Its leaves are large, heart-shaped, dark green above and lighter green below. In autumn, the leaves unevenly change to unspectacular shades of yellow-green and brown.
American basswood tolerates acidic soils but excels in deep, moist but well-drained, humus-rich, neutral to sweet (alkaline) soils. Tolerant of moderate drought, it usually dulls or browns its leaves if water is severely lacking.
It is suitable as a shade tree, very large avenue tree, and for a naturalized shade tree. Do not place too closely to paved surfaces used for walkways or play areas as the fallen nutlets can be hazardous. The dense shade cast under the basswood also can cause many underplantings, including turfgrass, to die out. Remove basal suckers (twig sprouts) from the trunk to keep the tree looking tidy and clean.
Information source: www.learn2grow.com/plants/tilia-americana/.
Genus - Tilia
Species - Americana
Common name - American Basswood
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 8
Height - 15 - 25 m
Spread - 8 - 15 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam, well drained
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Shade Trees, Street Trees
Bloom season - June - July
Leaf / Flower color - Dark Green / Light Yellow
1. Soak the seeds for a few hours in warm water.
2. Mix the seeds with moist vermiculite or sterile sand, place in the zip-bag. Close it and gently shake to distribute the seeds through the starting medium.
3. Place the bag in the refrigerator at +2-+7C (34-41F). The vegetable crisper works nicely for this!
4. Check on your seeds every two weeks. Add a bit of water if needed (but only to moisten). If any seeds begin to mold, remove them.
Generally, the seeds should be planted after 60 days of cold and moist stratification. But if the seeds start to show signs of germination (little sprouts), then remove them from the refrigerator and plant.
The seeds should be planted indoors in a seed tray or individual containers. Plant at a depth of the seed size. Keep the seedlings watered regularly – moist, but not wet. Set them in partial sunlight.
After the last frost in your area, you can transplant the seedlings outside. Be sure to pay close attention to your little trees especially during the first two years – watering regularly and protecting them from mowers and wildlife. (info source: spsmw.org).
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