BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — The cedar tree outside the Brazos County Courthouse is being removed. 

Officials announced on Tuesday the tree that has stood outside four of the six Brazos County courthouses, now poses a risk to the public. 

Members of the Texas A&M Forest Service performed an assessment and found that the tree is "structurally unstable."

"In fact, failure of the tree has already started and the tree poses risk of harm to people and property," Gretchen Riley stated in a press release. "While in some cases a tree may be mechanically supported to reduce risk, in this case there is not enough roots left to provide this tree with necessary water and nutrients." 

Officials with the A&M Forest Service collected seedlings from the tree in hopes to plant more trees in the future. 

Brazos County Judge Duane Peters said the decision was difficult, but needed to be made. 

"It's never an easy decision to let go of a part of our history," he said. "But, when public safety is at risk, the decision to remove the tree is clear.