MILFORD — The towering ash that has graced the front of City Hall for as long as anyone alive can remember is coming down this week, a victim of disease and old age.

Department of Public Works Director Chris Saley who said that the green ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, will live on, perhaps as a bench or other useful object, crafted by the woodworking class at the two high schools in the city, Law and Foran. A slice from the base of the trunk will be preserved, too, to determine exactly when its life began.

Crews began removing the tree Tuesday morning and city officials hope that it’ll mostly be gone by Wednesday afternoon.

“There’s a power line next to it and it’s not as easy a job as it might look,” Saley said.

Saley said that members of the the Board of Aldermen were briefed on the tree’s plight.

“It’s been sending out shoots from the trunk, which is a sure sign that it’s in its final days,” Saley said.

Mayor Benjamin Blake said that the ash is probably about 90 years old and might even predate City Hall, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016. The tree has witnessed hundreds of protests, parades and ceremonies, and countless city officials coming and going.

Steve Johnson, the city’s open space and natural resources administrator, said that the ash was “a concern” owing to its declining health.

“Our hope is that we’ll be able mill out some usable lumber for a project as well as a slab from the lower trunk to look at the rings,” he said. “But if the trunk is rotted, we might never know its age.”

Another clue of its age could come from old photographs. But, City Hall is usually photographed from its back side, with its reflection in the Lower Duck Pond.

“We’re looking at old photographs to see if it was standing in front of the old Town Hall, which burned down in 1815,” Blake said.