Can ants kill a tree if left to take over? Yes, but the reasons may not be what you expect. As Fayetteville’s tree service experts can tell you, there is more to the story.
Below, Trees N Scapes Unlimited discusses what you need to know about ants and tree health.
Ants Are Not Always The Problem
Don’t let the small size of ants fool you—a colony of 10,000 ants can make quick work of a tree under the right conditions. Healthy trees may not take much notice of an ant colony that makes a home in its branches or soil. However, when the tree is diseased, insects pose a serious problem.
Tree experts may determine that unsuitable conditions, poor soil quality, or inclement weather remain the primary cause of your tree’s ill health. However, many species of ants thrive in moist, rotting environments like dying trees. Specifically, carpenter ants will cause widespread damage to the branches, tree roots, and tree trunks if they move in.
Failing to address ant infestations in trees may also disrupt garden ecosystems or invite the migration of ants into a nearby home. Ants left to thrive in trees also spread to window frames, foundations, and wooden surfaces around the property.
Common Signs of Ant Infestations in Trees
Trees N Scapes Unlimited generally advises a closer look at the ants on your tree. The best strategy is immediate action if you notice the following common signs:
- Dead branches
- Small holes
- Wood shavings
- Cracked bark
- Discolored leaves
Professional tree services can quickly identify signs of an infestation. For instance, rotted heartwood remains easily maneuverable for large colonies of ants and provides the perfect place to lay eggs, avoid harsh weather, and retain moisture. Certified arborists also look for wood-boring insects, which use trees for shelter, nesting, food, and water.
Can Ants Kill A Tree Fast? Tips and Tricks
Yes, ants can kill a sick or damaged tree if they multiply within the tree’s structure. Here are three ways to handle ants in trees:
Ant Bait Techniques and Products
Poison remains a viable solution, though not recommended without professional assistance. Ants leave the nest to find sustenance for the queen, traveling across lawns and other surfaces in search of food and essential nutrients. Multiple liquid ant traps at the tree’s base should effectively kill ants traveling in and out of the nest, spreading as the colony eats their dead counterparts.
However, if you must use insecticide for killing the ants, wear protective clothing and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You should also be aware that toxic sprays and powders leave poisonous residues that could stunt your tree’s growth.
Better Tree Care
Nests in healthy trees are rare, so the following tips for keeping trees in good shape are the best way to avoid ant infestations:
- Stricter watering schedule
- Slow-releasing fertilizer
- Regular trimming and pruning
- Mulch to support growth and deter ants
- Professional tree health assessment
Removal of rot, damage, dying branches, and diseased bark also helps trees recover faster.
After observing ants infest your tree, you may consider tree removal services. However, certified arborists wield considerable experience and knowledge in this area.
Healthy trees can handle occasional ant infestations. Hiring professionals for ant extermination may even save a dying tree or protect other trees from suffering the same fate.
Trust Trees N Scapes Unlimited For All Your Tree Service Needs
Trees N Scapes Unlimited proudly serves the Arkansas community with practical, affordable services such as:
- Tree trimming
- Stump grinding
- Hardscaping and more
Can ants kill a tree on your property in Bentonville, AR? Call Trees N Scapes Unlimited at (479) 802-5766 today to learn more, including why only some trees die of old age.