Basswood

Where it Grows
Principally the Northern and Lake states. Average tree height is 65 feet.

Main Uses
Carvings, turnings, furniture, pattern-making, mouldings, millwork and musical instruments. An important specialized use is Venetian blinds and shutters.

Relative Abundance
Together, aspen, basswood, cottonwood, elm, gum, hackberry, sassafras, sycamore and willow represent 12.5 percent of commercially available U.S. hardwoods.

Did You Know?
Native Americans also used basswood’s inner bark fibers to make thread and fabric.

General Description
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.

Working Properties
Basswood machines well and is easy to work with hand tools making it a premier carving wood. It nails, screws, and glues fairly well and can be sanded and stained to a good smooth finish. It dries fairly rapidly with little distortion or degrade. It has fairly high shrinkage but good dimensional stability when dry.

Physical Properties
The wood is light and soft with generally low strength properties and a poor steam-bending classification.