SCARBOROUGH — An old elm tree named Elsa is being cut down today.

The prominent tree on Route 1 near Oak Hill is believed to be nearly 200 years old.

About 20 people gathered on bleachers set up in Amato’s parking lot to watch as the town’s public works crew cut down the first of the tree’s limbs early this morning. Public Works Director Mike Shaw expects the process to last until noon.

Town officials decided to cut the tree down because of its danger to traffic passing by on Route 1.