Residents in Rustlings Road, Endcliffe, woke up this morning at around 5am to the sound of chain saws being used to cut down trees outside their homes.
Cars were towed away while they slept and vans of police officers were on the street in anticipation of campaigners taking action.
Residents claim some arrests have been made.
They claim neither Sheffield Council nor contractor Amey - tasked with felling trees as part of a city-wide road and pavement improvement project - failed to notify residents of today's tree felling date.
Jean-March Michel, who has a lime tree earmarked for felling outside his house, said: "We had no idea this was happening today - the first we knew about it was when we heard noises at around 4.45 and the sound of chain saws at 5.15am.
"People have been outside objecting and arrests have been made. One person was wrestled to the ground," he said.
"Cars have been towed away and there are vans full of police officers here when we looked outside."
His wife, Pia, said: "The tree outside our house is a beautiful, healthy tree and the reason they have given for felling it is that there is some disruption to the pavement - well why don't they just repair the pavement?
"The way they have gone about this in the middle of the night is underhand.
"The council has Â£1.2 billion to repair the city's roads yet it has gone into the tree felling budget. This is so sad to see."