Published: Feb 13, 2011 1:04 AM EST
Updated: Feb 12, 2011 10:04 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. - After months of battles to save it, the historic oak tree in downtown Fort Myers was cut down Saturday.
     
The oak tree has been part of the old Lee County courthouse landscape for nearly 200 years.

It took workers about four hours to remove the oak's canopy on Saturday morning.
     
Over the past year, several large limbs fell off the tree, causing a safety hazard for the public.

"The tree is at an over-mature stage, so you're going to have limbs off as the wood strength diminishes," said Joe Sulak of Lee County Public Works.

The trunk of the tree will be made into a sculpture.  Artists have until February 17th to turn in ideas.