Tree owner Julie Gudovich took the decision to remove the tree after its thick roots began ripping up her sidewalk.
Gudovich's family has lived with the tree on the property since 1957. But despite appeals from neighbours, she refused to back down on plans to cut it down.
On Thursday morning, neighbour Matt Rosh was still hoping he could stop the 30-metre tree from coming down.
"Just living in the area, I can see a lot of life in that tree, and it's sad, sad to see it go down," he said.
"I'm just hoping that the owner has a change of heart… looks at that tree a little bit and changes her mind."
But by Thursday afternoon, it was clear the work would not be delayed, and crews began lopping off the top limbs.
Gudovich said it will all be gone within the next few days.
Officials with the City of Vancouver confirmed they had issued a permit to the owner to have it cut down.
City bylaws allow owners to remove one tree per year for any reason, as long as they get a permit and agree to plant another tree, as a replacement.