Friday, April 21, 2017

Mountain Basswood - Tilia heterophylla

Mountain Basswood - Tilia heterophylla, is a large tree that has the ability to reach heights of upwards of 100 feet. It is easily identified as a Basswood by the soft, light gray-brown bark that is moderately thin with long, shallow, parallel, V shaped fissures and flat topped ridges. The bark of the Mountain Basswood appears to be compressed against the tree and is molded to the ridges and fissures in a pattern that does not have rough edges.  Young bark, located high in the tree smooth and light gray in color.  The leaves are rounded to an abrupt tip with a coarse sharp toothed margin. The lower leaf surfaces are white and woolly.  Occasionally in late Winter clusters of pea sized berries can be found dangling in a shape similar to spread fingers from the center of small, elbow shaped wings that are attached to twigs.  

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

Mountain Basswood is a native species but is not commonly found even within it's natural growth zone.  It is a rare tree but can be found throughout the entire United States.  The Mountain Basswood can be distinguished from the American Basswood by looking at the leaves. 

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