There was also a clump of light brownish mushrooms nestled amongst the roots. Don't get me wrong, I love mushrooms as evident by the numerous posts and photos on them. But when they are found on a tree, be it at the trunk, branch or root, it does not bode well for the tree because it is an indication of some hidden internal decay. So good luck, my tree friend. I hope you can battle the odds and continue to live on for a long time.