Because as far as I see it the reasons for the protests are:
Environmental impact - but the trees are (or certainly should be being) replaced, thus ensuring street trees for decades to come. Meanwhile across the globe up to 7 BILLION trees (ok thats only from a quick google, so it may be less (or more!)) are cut down each year and not replaced. Now that is worth protesting about, but its not outside yours or mine front doors, so we'll get in the way of tree REPLACEMENTS in our own little neighbourhood instead. That's not on environmental terms for me, its NIMBYism.
Money - Not quite got this one straight, but its either costing too much, a company being paid too much, or not spending enough on it, but either way the protests are clearly making it cost more.
I want the council to do its job - part of which is to manage the environment. From what I can see the impact of this has been positive (as I said before, new paths, new road surface, new trees) and looks set for decades.
I am pleased they've done it.
These are my views. I also respect the protestor's right to make as much noise as they want to about it, there are many people that don't, I just think its effort pointed in the wrong direction whether on an environmental or money basis.
---------- Post added 14-09-2018 at 11:45 ----------
But the good news is they only replaced the ones that were too big or causing or about to cause other damage, so now we have a good mix of trees.
We also have different definitions of saplings as the new trees look pretty substantial to me.
But maybe I'm just lucky eh?!