Basswood, a native Linden tree

Stepping into Nature - Minden Riverwalk

Basswood, a native Linden tree

Minden, Ontario K0M 2A1, Canada

Created By: Haliburton County Master Gardeners


Linden trees or rather their genus Tilia, have about 30 different species of trees or bushes native to most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The tree is known as Linden for the European Species and Basswood for the North American species. You will often find American Basswood (Tilia americana) and Small-leaved Linden (Tilia cordata) in this region.

Bicycling the backroads of Haliburton County in July when the basswood trees are in full bloom is a delightfully intoxicating experience. The trees come alive with the buzzing of millions of bees as they flit from blossom to blossom. You might be initially nervous foraging for the flowers for their nutritionally rich nectar, but you will quickly realize that the bees have no interest in you and that there are plenty of blossoms for all. You can steep the flowers and drink as tea or infuse with a sweetener to make a syrup. When young, the leaves can be used in salad. In fact the tree is sometimes called the "salad tree'. It's clumping or suckering behaviour makes it easy to collect leaves without having to scale the tree. Children and adults alike love to collect the large 6" leaves to use as compostable plates when serving food.

The Basswood tree is one of the trees that will adjust to climate change in the county according to Peter Schlefenbaum, a forester and former owner of the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife. Some other survivors will be the red oak, cherry, ironwood and birch.

Here is a tip for you. Instead of raking and disposing of the leaves in the fall, many tree species including basswood have very nutrient rich leaves. Shredding the leaves with a lawnmower can feed your lawn and your trees, and save you money on mulch and fertilizer.

The large tree before you is the Small-leaved Linden.

Differences between the American Basswood and a Small-leaved Linden:

  • Origin - Basswood is native to North America

  • Leaf size - Basswood trees have much larger leaves than the European Lindens. Although all Lindens have heart shaped leaves.

  • Hardiness Zone - Basswood trees can survive in zones 2 to 9 whereas the Small-leaved Linden thrives in a smaller range.

  • Height - Basswood can grow taller than the Small-leaved Linden reaching up to 80 feet or 25m high compared to 70 feet or smaller for the other Linden varieties.


Other plants at this tour stop include:

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Culver root (Veronicastrum virginicum)

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum)

Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

This point of interest is part of the tour: Stepping into Nature - Minden Riverwalk


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to