A council has apologised for chopping down a piece of abstract public art known as the "Tree of Lost Soles".
The tree stump was decorated with spare shoes, trainers, flip flops and boots and was situated in the Woolston area of Warrington.
Warrington Borough Council said the tree's "unauthorised removal" should not have happened and it would be replaced.
Locals have put a sign on the remaining stump labelling it the "lost tree".
The artwork is said to have been inspired by a similar piece in Australia and had became a popular talking point for residents and visitors to the area.
Illustrator and 'Bob The Builder' designer Curtis Jobling who lives in Warrington said: "It was a great piece of local art which provoked cheery conversation and raised a smile universally.
"Sadly, it appears somebody severely lacking a sense of humour and appreciation of art has taken a chainsaw to it."
Andy Farrall, executive director economic regeneration, growth and environment at Warrington Borough Council, said: "The Tree of Lost Soles was clearly recognised by the local community as an imaginative piece of popular public art.
"I apologise, on behalf of the council, for its unauthorised removal - this should not have happened.
"The 'tree' was deteriorating and a decision about its future would have been necessary in the near future. However it should not have been removed in this way and local people should have been involved in the decision about its future.
Campaigners had planned a demonstration at the town hall involving shoes getting tied to the gates.
However, the council said the parish council and local elected members were working to "quickly plant a replacement".