Residents are opposing a £250m plan to redevelop the Liverpool International Garden Festival site.
The gardens will be ready for 2008 - Liverpool's Capital of Culture year
Langtree McLean has submitted plans to demolish the derelict festival hall to make way for about 1,300 homes and restore 56 acres of grounds.
People living nearby are angry that a large number of the trees on the site have been cut down by the developer.
Langtree McLean said it was important to get the trees cleared before the start of the bird nesting season.
The trees were originally planted as saplings more than 20 years ago to provide a woodland setting for the 1984 garden festival.
Residents are worried about the damage this will cause to more than 35 species of birds and 15 types of tree at the site.
A day of protest is taking place on Sunday afternoon to draw attention to the plans and build support to keep the site as a wildlife reserve.
Local resident Karen Fletcher said: "Any development has to solve major problems regarding the seriously contaminated nature of the underlying land on the site both during the building and for future residents.
"There are also huge issues regarding traffic and local amenities which have to be addressed.
"Langtree McLean should prove their case before destroying any more of the woodland which has taken 20 years to grow."
Langtree McLean said that under the terms of the lease they are required to manage and maintain the site and obtained a felling licence for the park area in October 2005.
A planning application has been submitted and the developer is hoping to complete the redevelopment in time for Capital of Culture year in 2008.
Langtree said it was necessary to start the clearance now so the timetable for the programme was not compromised.
The 1984 International Garden Festival was the first of its kind in the UK and billed as "a five month pageant of horticultural excellence and spectacular entertainment."
But the site has been neglected for about 20 years as a series of projects that have failed to be realised.