Money and snowflakes: O Christmas tree, thank you for your service!


Ronni Hannaman This year, the official Capitol Grounds Christmas tree will be switching the lights on to a younger tree. Shown here bidding farewell to the over 100-year-old tree, the loyal Nevada State Buildings Buildings and Grounds team gives this mighty tree a slap. From left to right: Darin Huizer, David Van Ornum, Phil Nemanic and Michael Carpenter.

There are approximately 890 trees around the immediate Capitol in Capitol Square and over 4,200 trees across the 274-acre Capitol Grounds, but the most special tree of all is the Capital Christmas tree. .
As state park staff begin the arduous but satisfying task of decorating Capitol Park to light up and create a wonderland to usher in the holiday season, a tall, proud tree will not receive the special attention it deserves. ‘he has for so many years.
This very special pine had been designated as the Governor’s Tree and took on the dual role of the official Christmas tree about 50 years ago, according to the field team. It received a lot of attention during the silver and snowflake lights festival, proudly carrying the weight of many lights on its once sturdy branches for all these years.
But, like many older trees now on the Capitol grounds that may have been planted almost a century ago, this very special tree is retiring and giving way to a younger branching tree, more sturdy and much thicker that could have been grown to one day replace the old tree.
You see, this beautiful old tree has lost a lot of its once thick but now drooping branches and is a bit brittle. The ground crew pointed out the conduit about 20 feet into the trunk which may have unknowingly been installed at the base of the sapling at one point causing the tree to slowly die. Although still upright and tall, it can no longer support the weight of all the lights, and the field team know they need to decorate a younger, sturdier pine tree to replace the beloved old tree. If this tree could speak, it would have many wonderful stories to tell.
Ground crew foreman Phil Nemanic always likes to decorate Capitol Park for the holidays and says: part of the show.
All the illuminated trees in the Capital Park proudly proclaim the holiday season while savoring the oohs and aahhs aroused by those who roam the park. Most importantly, the illuminated trees make it easier for Santa to spot Carson City from the sky, although we’re sure he knows the way!


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