A tree at the centre of a legal dispute in Wellington has been ringbarked.
The owners of the Khandallah property where the 20-metre-high Norfolk pine stands applied for consent to remove the tree, but this was rejected by the Wellington City Council.
An appeal has been lodged at the Environment Court challenging the decision.
The council's parks and gardens manager, Paul Andrews, says police are looking for two men seen attacking the tree with axes at 5pm on Monday.
Mr Andrews says arborists are trying to save the tree by using bark from its upper branches to bridge the 10-centimetre ring cut by the men.