What's This?

From Steve, the Park Naturalist

This is a picture of a seed pod from a  Kentucky Coffee tree located next to the park headquarters building. The pod generally grows from 5” to 10” in length.

The name came from early settlers who thought the seeds resembled coffee beans.


A grove of Kentucky coffee trees in Winnebago County, WI resulted from Native Americans.  Native Americans passing through the area brought the pods with them.

The seeds were used as dice in a gambling game. (Source: Every Root an Anchor by R. Bruce Allison)

More than a few park visitors have asked what tree this spiky, golf ball sized object came from. When I tell them that you can actually eat what is inside, they don’t believe me. The prickly outer covering protects chestnuts. The American Chestnut tree is uncommon this far east. The tree was common on the eastern portion of the U.S. until falling victim to a fungus called the chestnut blight.

Forest Management at Perrot State Park

Perrot is beginning a fall sale of timber on 47 acres on October 15 and it will continue through the rest of year depending upon conditions. The harvest plan has 2 goals:

• Remove rows of trees in the red and white pine plantations to create more room for the remaining trees to grow and mature.

• Reduce the number of older hardwood species such as oaks, hickories, hackberry and maples to allow for regeneration of new trees creating a younger forest that is beneficial to many forest and edge species.

Dead or “snag” trees will be left as den and roosting trees for animals and birds. Pockets of mature, healthy trees are being left to act as seed trees and some re-planting of young trees will take place if natural regeneration is slow. There was a pre-harvest effort to suppress invasive species in the hardwood stand and additional follow-up in the entire timber sale area will take place after harvest.

If you have questions about this harvest, please contact the DNR Forester, Adam Foehringer , (608) 405-2926 or by email

If you have questions about Perrot State Park, please contact the Park office at (608)534-6409.

Red – harvest boundaries

• This indicates the edge of the harvest or a change in harvest type (i.e. going from clear-cut unit to thinning unit). Red paint should be found along the outside perimeter of the western units, around the hardwood clear-cut and to delineate the ‘road buffer’ clear-cut.

Green (Teal) – used to mark ‘leave’ trees in the clear-cut

• These trees will be retained for wildlife purposes (mast production and vertical structure) as well as forest management purposes (seed source, certification standards). Dead standing trees will also be left as wildlife snags and raptor perches (except where safety concerns exist as per OSHA).

Orange – used to mark trees to harvest in thinning unit(s)

• These tree should also have stump spots (except in the young conifer stand, row-thinning) so we can ensure only the marked trees were harvested from these units.

Blue – blue is used when a harvest boundary abuts private land