Using Linden in Landscape

Lindens can be incorporated into a residential landscape in a variety of ways. Of course, they make lovely individual specimen trees on large and moderate sized properties. They can be trained to adapt to smaller spaces clipped as hedges, but they take a lot of work to maintain. They also serve as street trees along property frontage planted about 40 feet apart. They can handle some salt spray in coastal areas.

The inner bark of the Linden is a prime source of long, tough fibers widely used in the production of cordage, mats, and even clothing. Native Americans were known to have put the fibers to dozens of uses, ranging from fishnets to baskets

Lindens have commercial value as well their wood is prized for sounding boards in pianos, drawing boards, mats, and coarse cloth. The bark of the American Linden is very hard and usually used to make furniture, crafts, doors, and crates. Bees make a prized honey from the Linden’s yellow-white blossoms. American Linden or Basswood is valued by word carvers. It is very light but is also tight grained giving the carver an excellent medium for fine work. Another interesting little tidbit is that Basswood is considered the best wood available for food containers particularly for butter tubs, as it imparts no odor or taste to the contents.

Linden oil also comes from the flower and is used in perfume. In Europe over the years, Linden bark tea was used as a home remedy for colds, flu, coughs, fever, headaches, epilepsy, indigestion, and sore throats. The inner bark contains mucilaginous materials and makes a soothing application for skin irritations, boils, wounds, sores, and burns.

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