Crabapple Tree Trunk Has Swollen Area With Spike Like Growth

Question From: Y. Sourtaev - Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Q: Hi Nancy, I have a crabapple that's been here about 4 years, it's opening leaves right now. I noticed right at the foot of the tree the trunk is bigger, sort of swollen and has a strange sOrr of side swelling with spikes. Is it a canker? Should I really cut it using a knife? Please let me know if I can send a picture
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A: That is indeed a canker and a large one at that. From everything I read cutting the tree may do more damage than good and any such treatment should be done by a professional. Sadly this is a large canker in a bad spot. I'd think twice before spending a lot of time and money to try and save it. Here is a link to more information on cankers and treatment. Best Nancy