A new sign has been placed at the Ute Council Tree. The previous sign, in place for 30 years, was not only deteriorating but had some inaccuracies. The new sign was provided by the Colorado Sign Studio in Delta.
"As everyone should know by now, the Ute Council Tree was cut down to a 23-foot stump on Aug. 25, 2017, because of the risk of additional limbs dropping from the crown of the tree," Delta Museum director Jim Wetzel wrote in his quarterly newsletter. "The last limb to fall from the trunk occurred on Aug. 1, 2017, and weighing several tons, caused some damage to the adjacent home. Since the historical society owns the land under the tree, we felt that, because of the liability, that it was urgent that the remaining crown and upper trunk be removed as soon as possible, keeping a large portion of the lower trunk as a memorial," Wetzel writes.
"We are not opposed to the three Ute tribes creating some sort of lasting memorial at the tree, but to date have had no indication from the Tri-Ute Council that anything is planned. Some have suggested that some sort of chainsaw carving be done on the remaining trunk, but the trunk is hollow, and the possibility of serious damage to the trunk has precluded pursuing this idea.
"The Delta County Historical Society has decided to leave the trunk as is, and to update the sign as a fitting reminder of the Ute cultural heritage of the site."
Slabs of wood cut from the Ute Council Tree are available from the museum. The Delta County Historical Society also has a branding iron to stamp each piece with "Ute Council Tree, Delta, Colorado." Contact the museum at 874-8721 for prices and sizes.