During spring, the silent flowering Basswood tree commonly goes unnoticed to us, but not to the bees. Basswoods produce fragrant, yellow flowers that dangle precariously underneath the heart shaped leaves. Basswoods that bloom during May and July, produce prolific amounts of nectar that is favored by wandering bees. Bees also help pollinate favored crops such as apples, squash, and pumpkins. When bees are abundant, the beekeepers are busy tending hives and harvesting the light, delicious honey.
Basswood’s fall seed crop feeds wildlife such as mice, squirrels, and chipmunks as they prepare for winter. During winter, deer and rabbits rely heavily on its tender seedlings and stump sprouts for food and cover. In the latter part of its life, Basswoods often hollow out, creating new spaces for bee hives and bird nests.
It is advised to selectively open gaps in the dense canopy to allow seedlings and saplings underneath to retrieve light and grow into healthy Basswoods. With this light, the next generation of your forest can vigorously grow into the strong flowering trees of tomorrow.