Nashville (WTVF) -- The work to remove 10 cherry blossoms from downtown Nashville got underway Wednesday morning.

The trees have to be removed so a stage can be built for the NFL Draft.

Initially, 21 trees were scheduled to be removed but public outcry prompted city officials to come up with a new plan. Thousands of people signed a petition over the weekend, demanding the trees not be uprooted.

If any of the trees die, they will be replaced by the NFL.

After the NFL draft stage is deconstructed, new cherry blossoms will be planted in the 10 vacant spots. Leading up to the Draft, crews will also be removing street lights, flagpoles and railings -- even the Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign to accommodate the setup.

The city apologized and said the public wasn't notified about the game plan because it didn't consider it a "major project."

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