Tauranga mayor Stuart Crosby says that if a man fined over felling trees had gone to the council in the first place, it may have pruned or felled them for him.
Brian Kent pleaded guilty and was fined $45,800 plus $5000 in reparations today for cutting down seven pohutukawa and four other trees in Otumoetai.
An arborist was fined $1500 and sentenced to 200 hours' community work.
Mr Crosby, says the council prunes and fells up to 200 public trees a year.
He says if Kent had gone to the council first, it may have done the work for him.