It’s a good idea to inspect your trees completely from the ground up to be sure they're healthy and strong. You also want to be sure your tree doesn't pose a risk to yourself or your property.
Besides mushrooms on trees, here are some common signs of trouble to look for:
Roots All trees need a substantial root system to keep them standing. However, only a tiny portion of the root system is visible above the soil surface. Trees should have a flare at the base. If this is not present, soil or mulch may be hiding symptoms of decay in the stem or roots or girdling.
Many symptoms on or above the buttress or flare roots can give an indication of the condition of the rest of the root system.
Any root decay visible near the trunk could indicate extensive root loss, because decay begins in outer sections of roots and works back toward the trunk.
Fungus structures (mushrooms on trees) and conks indicate decay. It's possible to probe the roots or trunk to determine the presence and extent of decay. Extensive experience is called into play in order to make judgments about the condition of the tree.
Stem The lower stem is the area between ground level and four feet above ground. It is the easiest portion of the tree to examine.
Defects found here may indicate either a root or stem problem. We will look for loose bark, open cavities, cracks, mushrooms, conks, depressions or swellings in the stem and girdling roots. These can indicate a serious trunk or root decay.