Our Trees Are Like Old FriendsIn 1972 when we bought our place here in the country the house had not been lived in for many years and those who lived in it last, seasonal Mexican migrant workers, probably did not water the grass or the trees. In fact, there were only seven trees on the three-acre parcel, four fruit trees on the south end and three cottonwoods behind the granery. The first photo shows just how dry and barren the place was when we decided to remodel the house and move in.
I used a map that Bob had drawn years ago to plot the buildings on our acreage; I added the trees. Eventually I'll number all sixty of the mature trees on the map but if I wait until that is done to write my story it will never get done. The first tree I'll tell about is just south and west of the dome - I labeled it with a blue number 1.
Tree number one is a honey locust that I call the Kingsey tree, named after our local weatherman Jim Wirshborn, nicknamed Kingsey. Back in about 1979 or 1980 we were visiting Kingsey at his home in Fort Collins when I spotted some long brown seed pods on the ground by his driveway. I brought them home and started the seeds in pots. One survived my transplanting and grew to be a big beautiful honey locust tree. It is one of the few trees I've grown from seed and that's a big part of why it is so special to me. It shades the yard, overhanging the sidewalk and provides a lovely welcome to those who enter the front gate. In fall the small leaves turn golden and when they fall to the ground they stay there and become a part of the soil, no raking necessary.
I didn't know when I planted the seed that honey locust trees are recommended for our area. They are drought tolerant and not fussy about soil conditions. There are varieties which do not produce thorns but ours is not one of those, unfortunately. That is the only feature of this tree that is "thorny."