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The sapwood of Basswood is very pale and may appear white or cream-colored, or a pale, pinkish-tan. The heartwood is also very pale with occasional brown or reddish streaks. The very light tones of both sapwood and heartwood make it difficult to differentiate between the two. The wood is relatively soft for a hardwood, and has a fine, even texture. The grain is straight, and essentially, indistinct.
Formal Name: Tilia Americana
Basswood is most commonly found in the Great Lakes Region, including areas of both Canada and the United States. Growth areas extend east to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and south through portions of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee.
The light, soft characteristics of Basswood make it easy to work with both hand and machine tools. It has low strength properties, but once dry, provides good dimensional stability. It has poor nail-holding characteristics, but screws and glues with relatively good results. Basswood yields a good finish with either paint or stain.
The soft characteristics of Basswood make it a popular choice for carving and turning. It is also used for boxes, crates, furniture substrates and plywood. Basswood is used in window treatments as shade rollers and for wooden blinds.