This ancient tree was once part of a grove of native cottonwoods under which the local Ute Indians would camp and hold council prior to 1881. An Indian trail passed nearby. It has been identified as the Ute Council Tree since 1930, when the local DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) chapter affixed a bronze plaque to the tree identifying its historic connection to the Ute Indian culture. Edith
Castle, when a young teenager, would listen to conversations between her father, Newton Castle, and Chipeta, wife of Ute Chief Ouray (d. August 24,1880), during visits by Chipeta following the removal of the Ute tribes from this area in 1881. Edith Castle, DAR regent in 1930, was instrumental in recognizing and honoring the historical significance of this sacred place.
This tree was a seedling around 1800, and grew into a magnificent tree which survived for over 200 years. However, for the final 50-60 years of its life, branches continued to drop periodically, endangering life and property beneath. When the last major branch on the trunk dropped on August 1, 2017, leaving only the crown intact, the decision to remove the 89 foot crown was made in the interest of public safety. The Ute Council Tree was cut down on August 25, 2017, leaving the 23 foot stump as a memorial to the Ute Indians, who still embrace the historical connection
of this tree to their ancestors who once inhabited the area.