Maureen Farris, 26, one of the protesters, said the group first gathered around the tree Friday when they noticed it had been painted with the same "X" as other trees recently cut down in the area, the Akron Beacon Journal reported Wednesday.
"Our main mission is to save this tree," Ferris said. "It is part of the fabric of our community."
"We believe the more you demolish a community, the less like home it becomes," Farris said.
Ray Nemer, whose family owns the property, said developers are not "out to get anybody."
"If I could save every tree in the world, I would," he said.
He said the tree needs to be cut down to make room for alley and parking for the 25,000-square-foot building.
He said all proper procedures were followed with the city and he recommended the tree's supporters do the same.
"Call your councilman," he said.
Protester David DiDomenico, 32, said the demonstration will continue until the tree is safe.
"We will stay until they start cutting the tree down with us in it or they put us all in handcuffs," he said.