Carvers make a beeline Among the most important of America's nectar-producing trees, the basswood makes itself at home along city streets as well as in the forest. In cityscapes, nurserymen call the hardy, decorative tree American linden. But in the woods, it's basswood, beetree, lime, or whitewood. Regardless of its name, basswood has proven its value. Indians of New York state's Iroquois nation carved ceremonial masks from the sapwood of living basswood trees, then split the green-wood masks from the trunk. The gummy inner bark provided bandages. And from its dried fibers they wove rope.
Beekeepers even today appreciate the quality of basswood-derived honey. In summer, the tree's fragrant flower clusters provide a strong-flavored nectar. Basswood stock also becomes the very boxes in which the honeycombs are stored and shipped.