Examine Your Tree Up Close To See If It Should Be Removed

Posted on: 6 March 2023


It can be tempting to look at a tree from a distance, figure it looks okay, and decide based on that observation that it does not need to be removed. But sometimes, the signs that a tree is weak, diseased, and best removed are not obvious from a distance. If you really want to ensure your trees are all healthy and worthy of being left in place, you'll want to look them over more closely. Here are some key signs — noticeable from up close — that a tree should be removed.


Brackets are fungal growths on the side of trees. They look like mushrooms, but they are larger and wider. Brackets can be hard to miss from far away, especially if they are hidden behind branches. But they should be fairly obvious when you're looking at a tree close-up.

Brackets don't form when a tree has just been infected with fungi. Rather, they are the mature, fruiting form of the fungus that appears once the disease reaches its more serious stage. At this stage, the tree has likely become hollow and its vascular tissue has become damaged. If it does not already have a bunch of dead branches, it will soon. You're often best off having such a tree removed before the branches die and start falling off. There's really no coming back from fungal disease once brackets are present.


Cankers are like holes in the tree's bark. They may be large or small, light or dark. They sometimes accumulate black goo or slime inside. Cankers can be a sign of a serious tree disease, like thousand cankers disease or black canker disease. Sometimes these diseases are treatable in their early stages, but the prognosis is not typically very good. You can have a tree care expert come to offer their opinion, but chances are, they'll tell you to remove the tree before it spreads the infection to any other, nearby trees.

Sometimes trees form cankers on their tiny branches and twigs. This is not as much of a concern and may be caused by a less serious tree disease, such as anthracnose. You should still have a tree care company take a look, but the tree probably does not need to be removed.

Don't assume a tree is okay just because it looks okay from a distance. Examine it for brackets and cankers up close, and then decide whether it needs to be removed. 

For more info about tree removal services, contact a local company.