From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Whippletree \Whip"ple*tree`\, n. [See Whip, and cf.
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   1. The pivoted or swinging bar to which the traces, or tugs,
      of a harness are fastened, and by which a carriage, a
      plow, or other implement or vehicle, is drawn; a
      whiffletree; a swingletree; a singletree. See
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            [People] cut their own whippletree in the woodlot.
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   2. (Bot.) The cornel tree. --Chaucer.
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