Fungal Brackets: A Sign You Should Remove A Tree

Posted on: 11 July 2023

People often wonder how to tell whether a tree needs to be removed. In many cases, the signs are not entirely cut and dry. Dead branches, for example, sometimes mean the tree is dying and should be removed – but other times, just those branches need to be trimmed away. There is, however, one sign that your tree almost certainly needs to be removed from your yard. That sign is the growth of brackets from the tree's trunk. Here's a closer look at what brackets are, how to identify them, and why they mean your tree needs to be removed. 

What are brackets?

Brackets are more accurately called fungal brackets. They are essentially the fruiting bodies of various fungi that can infect trees. In other words, they are the equivalent of mushrooms, but they emerge from a tree and not from the ground. Brackets can be large or small, light-colored or dark-colored. Some look like shelves growing out of the tree, and others have a rounded shape like that of mushrooms.

Why do brackets mean you should remove the tree?

It's not quite accurate to say that the brackets themselves are killing the tree. It would be more accurate to say that the tree has a fungal infection, and the brackets are a sign that the fungal infection has become really serious. By the time brackets appear, the fungi have found their way deep into a tree's vascular tissue. At this stage, the fungi are typically causing the wood to get spongy and weak. They're probably also causing the tree to struggle with carrying water and nutrients from its roots to its leaves.

A tree with this serious of an infection – one in the bracket stage – is very unlikely to survive. It is, however, likely that your tree will fall down or lose a big branch if there is a storm. You want to have the tree removed before that happens.

How will professionals remove the tree?

Tree care professionals will be careful when removing a tree with brackets. They'll often use a grabber-like device to remove pieces of three from the top, down. This will help ensure the tree does not fall over or break while they are working on it. The tree care company will probably burn the wood after removing the tree. This kills the fungal spores so they can't spread to other trees and plants.

If your tree has brackets, call a tree removal company. You would not want a tree to fall down because it's weak and diseased. 

Reach out to a local tree service to learn more.