AT 2pm on Friday the Bum Tree was cut from its roots with protesters saying they wanted to stick it out to the end to pay their respects to the ancient giant.
As the tree swung like a pendulum from the supporting crane, the mood was sombre.
There were tears in the eyes of some protesters who had camped alongside Gerroa Road for days. When they saw the tree detached they quietly picked up their belongings and left.
Work on the last section left of the Bum Tree started almost two hours earlier and as two chainsaws cut the base of the tree, sawdust floated down over the onlookers with a strong smell of freshly cut wood in the air.
Connie Kraner from North Nowra was shouting for the tree to hang in there as long as it could and said she wanted to stay to pay her respects.
“I want to stay to witness this unnecessary destruction,” she said.
“I don’t think this should ever happen again, they should cut the speed not the trees.
“This was not the answer.”
A furniture designer and maker Leon Sadubin from Gerringong, who was moved by the felling of the local landmark, joined the protesters.
“To cut a tree that is as healthy as this one is complete destruction, it’s vandalism,” Mr Sadubin said.
“I wouldn’t use the timber that will come from that tree.
“It represents our heritage and is a much loved tree, a magnificent tree.”
The Bum Tree was transported on the back of a low-loader truck to Bomaderry where it will be stored until council decides what to do with it.