I came across this so I had to register here to post...
I go to DV 3 times a year to hike and I have visited the area around the tree on numerous occasions (the surrounding mountains are full of interesting things related to the natives going back thousands of years).
Anyway, since the first time I visited the site had just become worse and worse. The junk left in the desert (which eventually blows away) such as the guitars (really?), the trinkets get washed away and make things look trashy etc.
For a while, when the site actually required some detective work to find, it was fine, the plaque was there, the SMALL log container was there.
Now, it just looks trashy, and disrespectful. The land the tree lies on is BLM land and is also adjacent to a parcel of land owned by the Timbisha tribe (based in Death Valley). Both the BLM and the tribe do not like the constant influx of junk being left at the site.
It has gone from a cool, somewhat secret place which not many knew about, to a trash heap.
I'm not trying to be accusatory but the visitors to the tree really have to stop leaving "gifts" and trashing the place.
The antiquity rule for the BLM is that anything under fifty years of age is fair game for removal, if this keeps up, I could easily see them taking the plaque and everything else.