A years-long dispute between the Victorian government and the Djab Wurrung people of Central Victoria over the destruction of culturally significant trees for a highway upgrade, has come to sudden halt.

The Victorian Supreme Court has issued an order preventing further works from going ahead, after dozens of people were arrested on the site yesterday where a tree was destroyed.

Senator for Victoria Lidia Thorpe says the court decision gives them some hope, but only lasts until 2pm tomorrow.

She says they have gathered on site for more than two years to protect sacred ancestor and birthing trees that are hundreds of years old, and the police response yesterday was unnecessarily heavyhanded.