The lovely Erdtree may be the symbol of Elden Ring, but its physical presence in the game is also rather taxing from a performance standpoint. That's why modder k4richard decided to remove it from the game to gain a much smoother frame rate.
Speaking to PC Gamer, he explained:
The closer I got to the Erdtree, the more demanding the game became. The Erdtree and a bunch of particle effects were clearly the root cause of the problem. After removing the tree and a couple of particles, I was able to play at 30 fps on a low-end PC. A whopping 15 frames increased on a GT 1030! This mod practically lowered the graphics card requirements for the game.
Of course, your mileage may vary. The performance benefit is likely less significant with more powerful hardware at your disposal.
Erdtree-related issues notwithstanding, Elden Ring definitely launched with some technical troubles. Francesco De Meo wrote in Wccftech's 10/10 review:
There are some strange visual issues with vegetation's shadows, but they are more or less noticeable depending on what the player is doing. What is apparent, in the PC version of the game at least, are some performance drops in the open areas. They happen mainly in the starting Limgrave area, but thankfully they are not as frequent in other areas and are seemingly absent in dungeons, although they may still occur if both player and enemy start using magic spells. The stuttering issues don't seem to be related to the specs of the system running the game, as I experienced them at every resolution and not just at 4K. The machine used for the test (i7-10700 CPU, RTX 3070, 16 GB RAM) is way above the recommended specs listed by the developer, too.
Elden Ring is even capped at 60 frames per second by default, though there are mods to fix that limitation. Before the game's launch, developer FromSoftware even said it would add ray tracing support at some point in the future. That said, such an addition would only exacerbate performance problems unless the game also received NVIDIA DLSS and/or AMD FSR 2.0 support.