BERNARDS, N.J. — The final sections of a 600-year-old white oak tree that’s believed to be among the oldest in the nation were taken down Wednesday at a New Jersey church.

Roughly 50 people were on hand at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards as the work was completed, and many of them clapped and cheered as the tree’s large stump was pulled out and the church’s bells rang. It was later chained down on a large flatbed truck, which was taking it to an undisclosed location.

The removal process had started Monday, but no work was performed Tuesday because of heavy rain and winds. The crews returned to work around dawn Wednesday and worked throughout the day to complete the job.

The tree has been an important part of the bedroom community, located about 30 miles west of New York, since the town’s inception in the 1700s. Officials say Gen. George Washington held a picnic near the tree with Marquis de Lafayette, and the Rev. George Whitefield, a noted evangelist, preached to more than 3,000 people beneath it in 1740.

Another white oak cultivated from the old tree’s acorns was recently planted at the church.