GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A cottonwood tree that provided shade for the Ute tribes of western Colorado before the arrival of white settlers has grown rotten and unstable and must be trimmed into a memorial that recognizes its once-imposing stature.
The Ute Council Tree in the town of Delta is believed to be about 215 years old.
The (Grand Junction) Daily Sentinel reports that the cottonwood can no longer be considered safe. The last surviving limb fell on a windless morning Aug. 1.
Ute tribes will be consulted about what steps to take next.
Some say the tree was a meeting place for Utes and the settlers. But researchers have found no evidence to support that.
About 10 feet of the trunk will remain as a memorial.