American Basswood (removed July 2023)

Arbor Walk #17, Treekeeper ID #1937

This was one of the oldest and largest trees on campus. It had large green leaves and small, sweetly scented flowers. Recently, efforts have been taken to preserve and continue on the genetic lineage of this tree whose history follows that of WashU’s Danforth Campus. The original tree came down in a storm in July 2023, but scion wood had been grafted in 2020 and clones now grow in all four corners of Brookings Quad, including the new accession to the arboretum, tree 153.

The American Basswood can grow up to 90 feet tall, and it is sometimes referred to as the bee tree due to its plentiful bee population when flowering. Due to its larger leaves and attractive bark, this tree is generally used for ornamental purposes; however, because of its softer, thinner bark, its wood is also commonly used for carvings, furniture and musical instruments. Unfortunately, this also means that the wood is more sensitive to fire damage, as well as more susceptible to rotting.

Common Name(s)American Basswood, American Linden
Latin Name Tilia americana
Indigenous Name(s)
Commercial Name

Take a Look Around Tree #17