It was a sad day today as we said farewell to the Black Locust trees behind the hotel and in the Pony Express yard. All of them were either dead from neglect or mostly dead and the larger ones were threatening the walls. As you probably remember, the yard was pretty wild when we bought the place.
The trees were putting out a few leaves but most of the greenery was on the suckers and the trunks were quite barren.
Now, the back of the hotel is clear.
And the four trees in the Pony Express yard are gone as well.
It’s interesting to note that Black Locust trees are not native to Nevada. They were imported because their wood has excellent rot resistance and serves well as mine timbers. As an ornamental, though, they’re not so good with erratic brittle limbs and a sticky sap that rains in mists over everything nearby.
As for the Black Locusts of the hotel, counting the rings gives us a clue to their history. It appears that the trees in the Pony Express yard started in the early forties while the ones behind the hotel were about 20 years younger. From what I can ascertain, the hotel passed out of the Gruber family around 1940 and was purchased by Edna McDiarmid in 1950. Nobody seems to know who owned the hotel in the 40s but my guess is that the trees in the Pony Express yard started as volunteer seedlings somewhere in that ten year span and the trees behind the hotel may have been seedlings from the originals in the Pony Express yard.
All history aside, we now have room to work and space to plant new trees of our choice with Nevada native trees being our first choice.