Monitor quiz: Test your Arbor Day ardor

Happy Arbor Day!

Arbor Day ('arbor' means 'tree' in Latin) was first celebrated in the United States in 1872. Nebraskan J. Sterling Morton and his supporters persuaded their state to set aside a day in April to plant trees to help compensate for all the ones that had been lost in America's settlement of the land. More than a million trees were planted on that first Arbor Day alone.

Today, Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated day that encourages tree planting and care. It it is observed on the last Friday in April.

See if you can solve these riddles-in-rhyme about common trees.

1. My "skin" is for notes,
Baskets, canoes;
I'm sweetfully tasty,
My twig you can chew.

2. I'm in the yards
In Southern locations;
I'm heady and strong,
A sweet foliation.

3. I'm stout and far-reaching,
And hard to uproot;
I'm pungent in campfires,
And bluish in fruit.

4. I'm a "berry old" tree,
For pencils and shingles;
One whiff of my scent,
No moth will commingle.

5. I'm heavy with needles,
Though not one to sew;
My lumber's for masts,
My seeds - a cone's throw.

6. I don't have sand,
I'm far from the sea;
I'm what's in a barrel,
Veneer, and settees.

7. I'm known as a shrub,
But "tree" is my name;
Leaves spiny and shiny,
My berries my fame.

8. My branches splay outward,
I'm just a cone-head;
I'm a favorite for Christmas,
My boughs sweeten beds.

ANSWERS

(1) birch; (2) magnolia; (3) juniper; (4) cedar; (5) pine; (6) beech; (7) holly; (8) fir.

SOURCES: The history of Arbor Day in 'The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins,' by Robert Hendrickson; www.arborday.org/arborday.

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