The activist trying to protect a Norfolk pine tree north of Auckland has been arrested.
Contractors have axed around the tree's trunk, cutting off its nutrients.
Snells Beach locals were outraged when developers obtained a non-notified consent to cut down the tree to make way for 30 houses.
Activist Charlie Cottrell-Jury climbed up the towering pine this morning - and had planned to stay overnight.
But he scrambled down to try and stop contractors from ring barking when they took to it with an axe earlier this evening.
"It just kills the tree standing. So I went down to try and prevent them from doing that but the cops grabbed me, pulled me down and took me back to the station," Cottrell-Jury said.
Police say the activist was arrested at 4:30pm and will be charged for trespassing.
"The ring barking was to make it not worthwhile me being up there because I'd be trying to save a dead tree," Cottrell-Jury said. "So they [the contractors] have gone and will come back tomorrow to take it down."
Cottrell-Jury's hammock and supplies remain in the tree and will be collected tomorrow.
It's understood contractors will return first thing tomorrow morning to finish felling the tree.