A woman has chained herself to one of many walnut trees due to be felled this morning in Havelock North.

Rachel Coxhead arrived at the site before sunrise in protest ahead of the scheduled felling of a number of trees earmarked for eradication by Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

Armed with an apple, a sign and a bag of walnuts, the 52-year-old chose one particular tree that produced the "best walnuts."

"I have been coming here and collecting walnuts for 30 years."

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"When my kids were young we didn't have a lot of money so these trees were a great food source."

She told the workers that if they wanted to cut down that tree they would have to go through her.

Council intends to plant native trees in their place at the site near the Mary Doyle retirement complex adjacent to the Karamu Stream.

Mary Doyle resident George Mitchell said he now has sunshine in his bedroom and bathroom where previously he would have the lights on from 2pm.

"Everybody needs sunshine," Mr Mitchell said.

He said all the residents along the riverbank were asked their opinion on the tree felling operation.

"Certainly the ones that are shaded were all for it. The trees have had their day."