Best in moist, well-drained soils. Adaptable to alkaline soils. Full sun, Partial sun/shade.
The American basswood is recommended as an ornamental tree when the mass of foliage or a deep shade is desired; no native tree surpasses it in this respect. It is often planted on the windward side of an orchard as a protection to young and delicate trees. It is cultivated at least as far north as Juneau, Alaska. The foliage and flowers are both edible, though the tender young leaves are more palatable. It is a beneficial species for attracting pollinators as well. Bees produce excellent honey with a mildly spicy flavor from its blossoms. The inner bark was used historically as a fiber source for making baskets, rope, and fishing nets. Basswood attracts many insect pests including Japanese beetles and skeletonized leaves are common. Mite galls commonly form on the foliage.