RELIGION

The Latest: Crews start taking down 600-year-old tree

The Latest on the removal of a 600-year-old tree where George Washington once had a picnic. (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

Workers have started taking down a 600-year-old white oak tree in New Jersey that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation.

Crews started the task Monday at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards. It's expected to take two to three days to complete.

The tree has stood witness to history and milestones since the town's inception in the 1700s. It served as a scenic backdrop for photographs and was the site of a picnic Gen. George Washington held with the Marquis de Lafayette.

It was declared dead after it began showing rot and weakness in the last couple of years.

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8:20 a.m.

A 600-year-old white oak tree in New Jersey that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation is about to come down.

Crews are due at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards on Monday to start the removal process. It's expected to take two to three days to complete.

The tree has been an important part of the community since the town's inception in the 1700s. It's served as a scenic backdrop for photographs and was the site of a picnic Gen. George Washington held with the Marquis de Lafayette.

It was declared dead after it began showing rot and weakness in the last couple of years.

But there is a silver lining. Another white oak cultivated from the old tree's acorns was recently planted at the church.