Riddle #2 – March 2022: What tree is named after [a body] part of a deer and why?,
Answer: Buckeye – got its name because the nut looks like the bright eye of a deer when laid in the palm with the fist closed around it so the seed peeps out from the circle formed by the index finger and thumb. From Old Growth: Buckeye by Scott Russell Sanders, 2021, Orion magazine, p.118.
Research: Ohio's nickname is "The Buckeye State" partially because many buckeye trees once covered Ohio's hills and plains. In 1953, the Ohio Buckeye, Aesculus glabra, was declared Ohio's official state tree. The name "buckeye" stems from Native Americans, who called the nut "hetuck," which means "buck eye" (because the markings on the nut resemble the eye of a deer). The Ohio Buckeye is also commonly found in Kentucky woodlands.
Alternate Answer: Several people suggested Staghorn Sumac. Although the puzzle was aiming for Buckeye, we certainly agree that the alternate answer is acceptable. Forking structure and the velvety hairs covering the berries resemble a stag's horns, thus the common name.
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KWOA Wood Post: Woodland Riddle Feature
How many times has terminology in your woodlands management plan furrowed your brow? What exactly did that service forester mean when he/she suggested releasing the canopy during an inspection of your woodlands? Is that like raising the sunroof on your convertible??