• Tilia cordata 
  • Skogslind (S)
  • Lime (GB)
  • WinterLinde (D)
  • Le tilleul (F)


  • Small-leaved lime is the most common and widely spread deciduous tree providing finewood in Finland.


  • Lime grows naturally throughout Europe.
  • In Finland it can be found wild as far north as Rovaniemi.
  • Lime withstands a more continental climate than other finewood species in Finland.


  • Lime requires a dry or fresh nutritious soil as its habitat.

  • It grows on warm forested slopes of ridges and alongside streams.

  • Lime prefers semi-shade.

  • It is fast-growing, especially in nutritious habitats.

  • Lime produces quality wood in nutritious and calcareous grassy woodland soils.

Growth characteristics

  • Lime can grow 30 meters high, and its trunk may have one or several limbs.
  • Even in poor habitats limes survive as bushy undergrowth and isolated trees due to their ability to grow shoots and withstand shade.
  • Young limes need to be grown densely in order to prevent branching.
  • Limes growing in forests have straight trunks, whose lower parts are free of knots.
  • Small-leaved lime may grow into a rather large tree with a sturdy trunk and a leafy crown.

Properties of the wood

  • Lime wood is pale yellowish, lightweight and it does not have distinguishable heartwood.
  • The wood is straight grained, soft and crackless. 

  • Lime is easy to work in carpentry.

  • The weight of air-dry sawn timber is 500 kg/m3.

  • A-class wood is free of knots and even in colour. Hard and darker heartwood is acceptable.

  • B-class lime wood may contain a few knots and variation in colour. It is used for hidden structures and utility articles.

  • C-class wood may have damage caused by fungi and insects.

Surface treatment

The wood specimens have been surface treated as such:

  • Left, water-based acrylic lacquer
  • Center, no treatment
  • Right, two component catalystlacquer or oil

Radial cut

Tangential cut


  • Lime is easy to work. It is used for making art objects, decorative items, musical instruments and furniture.

  • It is also used for prostheses and tooth picks.

  • The thin and tough bast fibres, in the phloem layer under the bark, have been used for making bast ropes and baskets.

  • As firewood it is bad due to its weak heating value. It does, however, provide excellent charcoal.