Trees have been removed to allow flood prevention work to continue at Stonehaven.
Residents were informed at the weekend that part of the work on the scheme was being halted due to ground conditions on the site at Carron Terrace.
Aberdeenshire Council said there had been no option left but to remove 15 trees.
Mature replacement trees are to be planted during later landscaping works for the project.
Projects manager Gavin Penman said: "We have endeavoured to design the scheme around the trees, but unfortunately this has not been possible when we came to the construction stage and it is regrettable that we have had to remove them.
"Several attempts have been made to install metal sheet piles in order to isolate the 15 trees from the excavation works as part of the Stonehaven Flood Prevention Scheme allowing for their retention.
"However, due to ground conditions this has not been possible and, despite exploring other design solutions, no practical solution was identified which would enable the riverbank and trees to be preserved."
An information evening about progress of work is planned for 19 November.