Emotional Canal Road tree protesters appear in court clutching pieces of destroyed trees

A group of protesters who chained themselves to native trees on an Auckland private property say they're "devastated" the trees are gone.

Ten protesters appeared at the Auckland District Court on Monday after desperately trying to stop a number of native trees being felled on Avondale's Canal Road.

The Mana Rākau - Save Canal Road Native Trees group - has been occupying the site since July 2020 after a section was sold to housing developers.

More than 24 trees were cut down or ringbarked last Tuesday including rare kawaka and black maire.

The protesters, who were arrested and charged with willful trespass, carried branches of the felled native trees to court on Monday.

Speaking outside the court, Hanna Luypers said it's a "travesty" for the city.

"There are ten different species of trees here which will no longer exist anywhere else in New Zealand," she told Newshub.

"You won't find these trees in such close proximity in the middle of an urban area ever again in our lifetime. It's gone. It will never ever be able to be replaced."

The protesters say it's a tragedy for all generations to come.

"If you missed out going and seeing these trees, you should be gutted," Luypers said.

"You should be gutted, you never went down there and helped us."

All 10 protesters have been remanded at large with no bail conditions until March 31.