Soft, Beautiful, and Sustainable: Let’s Take a Look at Basswood
Uncle Goose makes toy blocks out of fast-growing, sustainable basswood. The particular strain of basswood we use is Tilia Americana. It’s also called the Linden Tree.
Here in Michigan and the Great Lakes area, basswood grows just about everywhere. These softwood trees spring up fast. You’ll frequently see Linden trees in parks and yards.
With their off-heart-shaped leaves, the Linden tree is attractive. It offers a loose canopy with deep green shade in the summer. In the autumn, the leaves turn into a beautiful, glowing yellow.
And although basswood is considered a weed or scrub tree, it’s also a superior softwood. It doesn’t have any sap. It’s doesn’t warp easily. It machines like butter. And it creates a finished product that’s soft to the touch.
Further, the basswood tree grows fast. The tree can be harvested before it can show much color gradation or heavy knotting. This makes basswood ideal for taking on our colorful, mouth-safe inks.
And yet, there’s no such thing as a forest filled with basswoods. Rather, these trees spring up much like weeds. You’ll often see basswood trees growing among stands of hard maple and other large trees like cherry or black walnut.
When these large trees fall, they create a pocket of sunlight in the forest canopy. Young basswoods shoot up very quickly in these pockets of sunshine.
You also may be surprised to learn that residential tree felling is another big source of Midwestern basswood. People might have loggers or tree services cut and haul their yard trees away.
These services will sell the cut trees to lumber companies. The lumber companies then repurpose former yard trees into usable basswood.
Soft, beautiful, and sustainable: basswood is the perfect wood for Uncle Goose block toys. Enjoy!