Butte business owners distraught by trees chopped down in act of vandalism

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Posted at 8:58 AM, Apr 11, 2023

BUTTE — It was early Sunday morning when the owners of Headframe Spirits distillery in Uptown Butte discovered during the night that somebody had chopped down their tree outside their business. Okay, I get it, it’s just a tree, right? But, to them, it had more significance.

“I was crestfallen, I was really heartbroken. You can say a tree is a tree, but this wasn’t an anonymous thing, this was a tree we named Troy,” said Headframe Spirits co-owner Courtney McKee.

Courtney and her husband John planted the tree a year after they opened their distillery in 2010. A plumber they hired named Troy installed a waterline from the sidewalk and asked if they wanted to fill the hole in the sidewalk or plant a tree there.

“And we said, ‘Yes! Leave it, we’re going to plant a tree!’ and it was just the most exciting thing. Not only did we have this beautiful building to take care of, but now we got to take care of a tree,” said McKee.

Butte police confirmed someone also chopped down a tree that same night on East Broadway. The owner of Kinetic Fitness said she too is upset about losing a tree outside her business.

“Shame on you, whoever did it,” said Kinetic Fitness owner Melissa Kindt.

Kindt said these trees help beautify Uptown and it’s a shame to lose them in a senseless act of vandalism.

“I live in the west, far end of Broadway and there’s trees that line the street and I think that’s what makes Butte, that’s what makes Broadway, we need our trees. I love the greenery,” said Kindt.

Butte’s arborist Trevor Peterson said he’s working with the two businesses to replace the trees. Courtney says she's ready to care for the new tree.

“Oh, this will be Troy Jr., absolutely, and we’ll watch Troy Jr. grow and we’ll get to take care of a different tree,” said McKee.

Police have not made an arrest in these incidents as of Monday evening.