Quiz on trees

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on July 06, 2018 Published on July 06, 2018

In keeping with the rest of the issue, this week’s quiz is all about trees.

1. Lord Collingwood, Nelson’s second in command at the Battle of Trafalgar, and many other British admirals would walk around carrying the seeds of a particular tree in their pockets. Which seed, and, more importantly, why?

2. The tallest tree, the largest tree by volume and the oldest tree on the planet are all found in which American State?

3. Which tree got its name from an observation from early travellers to India — that local traders were often found sitting in its shade?

4. This tropical evergreen tree is native to Brazil. However, India is the world leader in the export of its seed, followed by Ivory Coast, Vietnam and Brazil. Which tree is this, much more common in the dwarf variety?

5. Literature. Who or what is being described here? “A large Man-like, almost Troll-like, figure, at least fourteen-foot high, very sturdy, with a tall head, and hardly any neck. Whether it was clad in stuff like green and grey bark, or whether that was its hide, was difficult to say. The lower part of the long face was covered with a sweeping grey beard, bushy, almost twiggy at the roots, thin and mossy at the ends.”

6. Which tree, also known as the Indian lilac and with the scientific name Azadirachta indica, is used in the Jagannath Temple to make the deities of Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra?

7. Norwegian scientist and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl was convinced that there was early marine contact between the people of South America and Polynesia. He built the raft Kon Tiki and sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 1947. The wood of which tree was used to build the raft?

8. This tree is considered State property in Jammu and Kashmir, where it is also illegal to cut them without permission. A set of four of these trees can be seen on an island in Dal Lake. Name it.

9. It is the national tree of Bangladesh. Native to the subcontinent, it was introduced to the rest of the world by the Portuguese. Lakhi Bagh in Darbhanga is where Emperor Akbar planted over a lakh of this tropical tree. Name it.

10. This variety of tree, originating in the Andes, was most important for its bark. Till 1944, it was essential for the treatment of a disease. In 1742, Carlous Linneaus named it after the title of Luis Jeronimo de Cabrera, whose wife had been cured by the byproduct. Name the tree.


1. Acorns. In those days, the English navy’s fighting ships were built from British oak and they wanted to make sure that Britain would never fall short of oaks. Of course, in less than a century, fighting ships were made almost entirely from metal

2. California; the tallest (over 380 ft) is a redwood at the Redwood National Park. The largest is the legendary General Sherman, at Sequoia National Park, and the oldest is a 5,067-year-old bristlecone pine in the White Mountains

3. The banyan, from the ‘baniyas’

4. The cashew tree

5. The Ents, the tree-like beings who allied with the Hobbits in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings trilogy

6. Neem

7. Balsa wood, known for its lack of weight

8. Chinar

9. The mango tree; mangoes are the national fruit of India and Pakistan

10. Cinchona tree (named after the Count of Chinchón), from which quinine, essential in the treatment of malaria, was extracted


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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Published on July 06, 2018
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