IT was a grizzly end for the Bum Tree on Thursday morning.
With the sounds of splintering wood, Jenny Rich from North Nowra cringed every time she heard another branch fed through the wood chipper.
Ms Rich from North Nowra slept overnight with other protesters by the tree to do what she could to delay work.
“I just can’t watch it. It’s too horrifying,” Ms Rich said.
“I’m about to go down to the picnic area near the beach to get away from it all. I don’t want to see it.”
There was a near arrest earlier in the morning as Alison Darling from Gerroa was brought to tears with police negotiating with her to move away from the tree.
Ms Darling said the destruction of the Bum Tree was “the unkindest cut of all”.
“We have begged council and done everything we can to stop this with letters, emails and petitions ever since we first heard about this happening,” she said.
“I was standing at the Bum Tree and I didn’t want to move.
“I was told it was a breach of the peace if I didn’t move. I was then escorted from the tree by two officers who told me a breach of the peace was not a criminal offence but if I went back over, it would be a criminal offence because they have started work.”
Other protesters included some students from Berry Public School who passionately looked on in horror as parts of the tree were cut down.
Chainsaws and a crane were hard at work and created a dramatic sight for the spectators below.
Frightened birds flew from the area as chants from the protesters sang out below the canopy.