Wanaka's famous willow tree has had several of its branches cut off overnight.

The willow - one of Wanaka's most photographed and instagrammed trees - on the edge of Lake Wanaka was attacked by a person or persons last night and the branches discarded on the shore.

The tree was attacked overnight. Photo / Kerrie Waterworth
The tree was attacked overnight. Photo / Kerrie Waterworth

The tree is used extensively by Lake Wanaka Tourism in its marketing for the town, and general manager James Helmore said he "deplored" the attack and asked for the public's help in identifying those responsible.