American linden is one of the shade trees native to the northeastern United States. The tree grows to an average height of between 60 and 125 feet depending on the soil fertility. Other common names for the tree include basswood and Tilia Americana.
The tree takes a pyramid shape when young and a more rounded and less pyramid canopy of branches when mature. The leaves measure at least 5 inches long and 3 inches wide and are heart-shaped. The foliage is dark green on the upper surface with a pale shade underneath, making the tree unique from other large shade tree species. It produces small, creamy-white flowers with a strong fragrance that attracts butterflies and bees for nectar. These flowers develop into pea-sized fruits that fall from the tree during summer.
The tree bark ranges from dark gray to light green color, and the trunk measures a circumference of at least 100 inches at maturity. The American linden tree grows best in floodplains and close to wetlands, and it is prone to linden borer, Japanese beetle and caterpillars. It is also vulnerable to black mold and leaf spot diseases and may develop leaf scald during hot, dry weather. The total life expectancy for American linden is approximately 200 years, with most flowering and seeding occurring between 15 and 100 years.