RELIGION

Crews back at church to remove beloved 600-year-old tree

  • A large branch is lifted away from an oak tree in Basking Ridge, N.J., Monday, April 24, 2017. A white oak tree that has watched over a New Jersey community and a church for hundreds of years began its final bow Monday as crews began its removal and residents fondly remembered the go-to spot for formal photos, landmark for driving directions and the remarkable piece of natural history. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    A large branch is lifted away from an oak tree in Basking Ridge, N.J., Monday, April 24, 2017. A white oak tree that has watched over a New Jersey community and a church for hundreds of years began its final bow Monday as crews began its removal and residents fondly remembered the go-to spot for formal photos, landmark for driving directions and the remarkable piece of natural history. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)  (The Associated Press)

  • Crews guide the trunk of a 600 year old oak tree as it is moved by a crane during its removal, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Bernards, N.J. Crews completed taking down a 600-year-old white oak tree that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation after work was halted because of bad weather. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Crews guide the trunk of a 600 year old oak tree as it is moved by a crane during its removal, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Bernards, N.J. Crews completed taking down a 600-year-old white oak tree that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation after work was halted because of bad weather. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)  (The Associated Press)

  • People stand on the stump where a 600 year old oak tree once stood moments after it was removed by a tree cutting crew, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Bernards, N.J. Crews completed taking down a 600-year-old white oak tree that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation after work was halted because of bad weather. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    People stand on the stump where a 600 year old oak tree once stood moments after it was removed by a tree cutting crew, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Bernards, N.J. Crews completed taking down a 600-year-old white oak tree that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation after work was halted because of bad weather. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)  (The Associated Press)

Crews have returned to a New Jersey church where they are taking down a 600-year-old white oak tree that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation.

The work at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards resumed Wednesday. The process started Monday but was suspended Tuesday due to heavy rain and gusty winds.

Officials hope to complete the work Wednesday but say it may continue into Thursday.

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 during the last couple of years.