Maine’s ancient elm tree, Herbie, is coming down

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YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) — New England’s largest and oldest elm tree is in its final hours.

Workers using a bucket truck and crane have begun the final process of cutting down the tree, known as Herbie, that has stood in Yarmouth since before the American Revolution. The process is expected to last all day.

The tree was cared for over the past half century by Frank Knight, who’s now 101. The tree succumbed to Dutch elm disease after surviving 14 previous bouts with the fungus.

The massive tree is estimated to be 240 years old. Its exact age will be known after officials count the growth rings in the trunk after it’s cut down.

But Herbie will live on. Wood from the tree will go to artisans for furniture and other products.