The Vancouver Park Board voted unanimously on Monday night to cut down the 1,000-year-old hollow tree in Stanley Park because it is a risk to the public to keep it upright.

The red cedar is dead, and is currently being held up by cables and bolts. It has been fenced off to visitors since extreme storms in late 2006.

"This was the only solution that was viable and practical," Park Board Commissioner Ian Robertson told CTV News. "And the decision was taken to have the tree cut down and for a commemorative work to be done out of the tree, for people to come by and see the tree."

The Park Board plans to split the tree in three, lengthwise, and place the pieces on the ground, allowing visitors to walk through the tree's cedar walls.

Robertson added there will also be some historical background to explain the history of the tree to its visitors.

"So people can appreciate the scale and the majesty of that tree," said Jim Lowden of the Park Board.

Some members of the public argued the tree should remain standing, by putting cables around the tree across its hollow opening.

"When you have a tree ... that is this important, (it is) really a national monument and a civic monument," said conservationist Ralph Kelman.

But the board said more steel braces would ruin the appearance of the tree.

"I certainly can appreciate the emotion and the passion (of conservationists) ... we heard that," said Robertson. "At the end of the day, the board took a decision that was very practical, it was the right decision to not spend any more money on this but to do something that was respectful that will still give the tree a long chance to stay in the park."

The tree has stood in the park for untold generations and is considered a local landmark.

With a reports from CTV British Columbia's Steve Sxwithul'txw and Maria Weisgarber