Ants in Trees
Don’t panic if you see ants crawling up your tree. Do a bit of detective work before reaching for the insecticide.
The presence of ants may indicate aphids and mites are feeding in your tree. These insects suck plant juices and secrete the excess as a clear sticky substance known as honeydew. The ants are eating the honeydew not your tree. Most healthy trees can tolerate the aphid and mite damage. A strong blast of water is often enough to keep their populations to a tolerable level.
Carpenter ants are commonly found in our landscapes. They do not feed on or nest in healthy wood. They only nest in rotting wood.
Contact a certified arborist, tree care professional if you suspect your tree is infested with carpenter ants. They can locate the cause of the rotting wood and advise you on the proper care for the tree.
A bit more information: Don’t be surprised if carpenter ants end up in your home. They may temporarily move indoors during wet periods, after an ant-infested tree is removed or when looking for food and water. As long as your home is free of rotting wood they will move elsewhere to establish a permanent home.