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Is my oak being invaded by black ants?

Posted by kim-dave Indiana (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 30, 07 at 22:06

I live in subd. full of very large Oak trees. Recent storms contributed to substantial limb breakage on my backyard neighbor's Oak tree. When he had an arborist take a look to see if it could be saved or should be cut down, he was told that it had been infested with black ants and that they had hollowed it out. They salvaged the tree by cutting off most of it's limbs and sure enough the remaining limbs appear to have a hollow section in the middle. His tree had appeared completely healthy before and produced plenty of leaves and billions of acorns. My neighbor was also told that once his tree was cut back, the ants would migrate and look for another tree to attack. So, now I'm concerned for our oak trees nearby. Sure enough, we now have black ants walking up the trunk of our tree. I've researched pest problems with trees and find lots of posts that claim that ants do not hurt trees. The arborist said they can be treated with some chemical that is illegal in US but is available online. I sure don't want ants but I don't want to poison my kids either. Any advice or input you could offer would be great. I'm not sure if my neighbor is being scammed or what could have caused his tree damage. Are ants to blame? How can we protect our trees from being hollowed out next? I love my trees but don't know much about them. Please help! Thanks!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is my oak being invaded by black ants?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 31, 07 at 0:38

The ants were taking advantage of a hollow branch as a place to live. The branch was already hollow when the ants arrived.

Or if they are carpenter ants, the ants removed some already dead wood to have a place to call home.

And suggesting an illegal chemical is grounds to report that so-called "arborist" to the agricultural authorities.

Your neighbor needs a real arborist.

RE: Is my oak being invaded by black ants?

I have ants crawling up nearly everyone of my trees. They look like sugar ants too me, but I have never noticed them doing any damage. Some ants farm aphids, but I'm not sure if they're would be aphids in oak trees or not.

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