The heartwood is creamy white to brownish and is not always easily distinguished from the wide, nearly white sapwood. The luster is medium. It is odorless and
virtually tasteless. The texture is rather fine and uniform. It is usually straight grained and does not split easily. American basswood is a soft wood with
correspondingly low strength properties.
American basswood is an easy to work species, although sharp tools are recommended to achieve the best results. Because of its softness, nail holding properties
are not the best. It is easily glued and cuts well with carving tools. Due to its soft texture, it does not stain satisfactorily but takes enamel easily.
American basswood timber is preferred for products in the natural condition, especially when a clean, attractive appearance, light weight, and freedom from odor are
essential such as in food containers including boxes, tubs, pails and baskets. It is favored for apiary supplies (bee hives and honey sections), slack cooperage,
venetian blinds, toys and novelties. A considerable amount is manufactured into veneer and as core material for panels.