It's basically knockin' on death's door ... but TMZ has learned there's still HOPE for the heavily damaged Ohio oak tree featured in the movie "The Shawshank Redemption."
The tree was essentially split in half when a strong wind storm ripped through north-central Ohio last week -- and officials in Mansfield were pretty pessimistic about its fate.
But now, a rep for the Mansfield Convention and Visitors Bureau tells us area leaders are scrambling to figure out a plan to "somehow preserve it" ... because the tree has become a MAJOR tourist attraction in the area since the movie and NO ONE wants to see it die.
Still, the rep adds, "We highly encourage folks who want to see the tree in its natural location to visit now, while part of it remains standing."
Officials are planning to meet up with the property owners in the next few weeks ... when they will decide the tree's fate once and for all.