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Lime tree appearance wood uses and lumber

Lime trees are common throughout West and Central Europe to south West Asia. The scientific name of lime is tilia platyphyllos and is part of the tiliaceae family. This tree is not in any way related to the lime fruits of the citrus genus. Lime trees are big solitaire trees and often plated in parks and streets for their decorative value. Lime wood is soft with nice light colorations and is very easy to work and cut by hand.

lime trees

Lime tree, leaf and fruit description

lime tree blossoms and barkThe lime tree can grow to heights up to 115 feet or 35 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from the end of autumn to early spring.

Lime leaves are alternate arranged and broadly ovate shaped. They are deep green colored with silky hairs on the sun side and light green on the other side. The leaves can reach lengths up to 6 inches or 15 cm.

Lime fruits appear at the end of summer after the blossoms. These woody nuts are covered with small brown hairs and hang beneath the tree leaves in small clusters.


Lime tree bark and trunk

Young lime trees have smooth grey brown bark. When the tree gets older the bark gets darker and ridged. The trunk of the lime tree has many branches. Some other species of lime as tilia x europaea have large roots and holes at the base of the trunk. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters.

Lime wood properties and durability

Fresh lime heartwood is pale creamy white colored that darkens to creamy yellow in time. There isn't much color difference between the heartwood and the sapwood of the tree. Lime wood is known for its straight grain with fine even texture, soft and low bending and crushing strength. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 540 kg per cubic meter. The durability of lime wood is classed as V low durability.


Lime wood working tips and uses

Lime wood is very popular among wood cavers to make sculptures and carvings. It is very soft and the straight grain makes this wood easy to cut by hand or machine. When working with lime wood it is recommended to let it acclimatize to the environment.

lime tree wood usesDry lumber nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine. Lime lumber is also an excellent choice for food containers and baskets because it does not impart taste or odor to food. Pre drilling is advised when screws or nails are used.

Lime wood is used in a wide range of products like

  • carvings
  • turned articles
  • musical instruments
  • tool handles
  • decorative veneer
  • Venetian blinds
  • artificial limbs
  • and much more!

More lime tree pictures!