A question that we get (in various iterations) from time to time here at Croft Tree Experts in Ottawa has to do with mushrooms growing on trees.

  • Why do mushrooms grow in trees?
  • Is it a problem if mushrooms are growing on a tree in my yard?
  • Are the mushrooms on my tree poisonous or can I eat them?

In this article we’ll address this oldie-but-goodie topic of mushrooms growing on trees.


Mushrooms on Trees: Good or Bad?

Got mushrooms growing on a tree on your lawn or property?

It could very well be a sign that there’s something wrong with the tree. Before cutting away the mushrooms – or worse yet, cutting down the tree – let’s examine what could be causing this to happen and what can be done about it.

We quite like mushrooms. On pizza or pasta, that is, or even in a nice stir-fry. But when we see mushrooms on trees, our appetites are not whet. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a fungus. The plural of fungus is fungi, but these mushrooms are not fun guys to have hanging around (or onto) your trees.

Oh, they’re nice to see and possibly even beneficial when growing in soil or other areas of your property, but not on or adjacent to live trees.

Are the mushrooms growing on the ground at the tree base? This could be a warning sign that the roots or trunk has some significant issues taking place.

Sometimes mushrooms are produced by fungi after the tree has been damaged by an entirely different source (in other words, correlation without causation). The roots could have been previously damaged, or maybe the tree is stressed (yes, that’s a thing) and thus the fungi are attacking the weakened defense system.

Your best course of action here is to contact a certified arborist. They know all about trees, roots, fungi and parasites, and will be able to determine the source of the tree damage as well as the best course of action to take.


How Arborists Treat Trees with Mushrooms Growing on Them

At Croft Tree Experts, our first goal is to determine whether we can save the tree. We love trees – we’re arborists after all – and the last thing we’d want to do is bring down a living tree unnecessarily.

If the mushrooms are growing on a branch, we can probably cut off the branch and save the tree.

Mushrooms at the base or trunk of the tree (or on top of the roots) are a different story. It’s entirely likely that we won’t be able to save the tree. But we’ll come out and take a look.

Oh, you were curious whether the mushrooms were edible?

Our first bit of advice is: Don’t eat the mushrooms!

They might be edible. They may very well NOT be edible. Don’t take any chances.

Let us give you an assessment of your mushroom situation and then you can proceed as you wish.


Count on the Experts at Croft Tree

At Croft Tree Experts, we handle all sort of tree matters in and around Ottawa. From pruning to felling to assessments of tree health, we are your experienced and trusted source. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your tree needs.