The six-metre high metal structure outside the Brunswick shopping centre was pulled down overnight. A 20-year-old man has been arrested.
The tree was a key part of the Countdown to Christmas event taking place in the town centre on Thursday November 14.
Brunswick centre manager Sue Anderson Brown said: "The actual installation was meant to be carried out in two phases. We completed the first phase but unfortunately somebody decided to spoil the fun and damage it before we could complete phase two.
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"It's a real shame because it was going to be such an iconic feature but it may still well be. We're looking very quickly at other options."
Should the damage turn out to be irreparable, Mrs Anderson Brown added: "We will still try to provide the public with something special".