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Silver maple and wood boring ants



 
 
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  #1  
Old 27-03-2003, 02:56 AM
Babberney
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Default Silver maple and wood boring ants

On Wed, 26 Mar 2003 23:45:39 GMT, "Eric Goldsmith"
wrote:

At any rate, while I'll likely get a real arborist to take a look, I'd like
input from the group on this guys 'diagnosis'. According to my wife, who
spoke with him, he claims the damage is caused by "wood boring ants".

Avoid this guy. You may have enough decay to warrant attention from
an arborist, but the ants are an effect, not a cause. Trees are made
up mostly of dead wood. A living sheet of cambium lies just under the
bark, but, below that, not much goes on (which is why you can kill a
tree by cutting a ring of bark all the way round the trunk). Ideally,
the live tissue protects the dead wood from decay organisms and
insects, but often when a branch dies or the bark is damaged a window
is created that lets the decay into the heart of the tree. Most trees
have some decay in them and can tolerate it just fine, but when there
is too much damage the tree can fail. Silver maples are notorious for
decay problems, so it's worth having it checked out.

As for the ants, they just move in to make a nest in the resulting
cavity. They mine out the decaying wood, which can actually have the
beneficial effect of getting decay organisms out of the tree and
slowing their spread. Though there is probably some support lost with
the heartwood, most of the strength of the tree is in the living
cylinder that surrounds it. And, since the wood was decaying, it's
only a matter of when, not if. So leave the ants alone and get a
qualified arborist to evaluate the extent of the decay.

You can search for an ISA Certified Arborist by ZIP code at the ISA
site (see sig below). Another good credential to look for is
membership in the American Society of Consulting Arborists, which is
only open to arborists with a significant number of education credits.
http://www.asca-consultants.org/


good luck,
Keith Babberney
ISA Certified Arborist
For more info about the International Society of Arboriculture, please visit http://www2.champaign.isa-arbor.com/.
For consumer info about tree care, visit http://www2.champaign.isa-arbor.com/.../consumer.html
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  #2  
Old 27-03-2003, 04:08 AM
DGiunti
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Default Silver maple and wood boring ants

In article , "Eric Goldsmith"
writes:

If there is a more appropriate place to post this type of question, please
let me know.

I have a silver maple in my front yard which, I've recently noticed, has a
hole developing in the trunk at about chest level. Through the hole, you can
see into the center of the tree, which appears to be rotten wood.

We've been meaning to have someone take a look at it, when lo and behold,
some guy shows up at the front door today - apparently canvassing the
neighborhood to drum up business. I have no knowledge of this guy's
credentials or qualifications beyond a business card which claims he's a
"tree care specialist".

At any rate, while I'll likely get a real arborist to take a look, I'd like
input from the group on this guys 'diagnosis'. According to my wife, who
spoke with him, he claims the damage is caused by "wood boring ants".

A Google search for "wood boring ants silver maple" didn't yield anything
useful.


The term carpenter ant is more common. I am not sure if silver maples have
their own species. I've only seen carpenters in Cedar up in Oregon, but it is
possible.

Can you 'explore' the hole any? If they are ants just paying too much
attention to the hole should generate some defensive behavior. If you can see
more deeply into the tree and it looks rotten, it probably is. Some carpenters
use infected trees as colonies because the other bugs that the rot grows are
tasty. The Cedar variety used the tree only as a home, and base of activity.
There are likely Termite exterminators that would be helpful in diagnosis and
treatment in you county yellow pages.


David Giunti email: unity
What is the question? Gertrude Stein's last words
No one mouth is big enough to utter the whole thing. Alan Watts

On Display in the UK
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  #4  
Old 27-03-2003, 01:44 PM
bthache
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Default Silver maple and wood boring ants

We have carpenter ants here every summer. A couple of years ago, I noticed
on one of our jackpines, saw dust coming out of a hole about 4 feet off the
ground and running down the tree. I asked an uncle who works in forestry
and he said it's most likely ants and that it's a good thing because they
are letting you know that that part of the tree has a problem. The other
good thing is that the rest of the tree above the hole and sawdust is
probably fine and that the ants won't hurt anything. They kind of help
clear out the problem spots. Two years later, there are no signs of ants in
the tree and the tree is perfectly healthy.
--
Tammie
Zone 2b-3a Far Northern Ontario
http://community.webshots.com/user/_tammie57


The term carpenter ant is more common. I am not sure if silver maples

have
their own species. I've only seen carpenters in Cedar up in Oregon, but

it is
possible.

Can you 'explore' the hole any? If they are ants just paying too much
attention to the hole should generate some defensive behavior. If you can

see
more deeply into the tree and it looks rotten, it probably is. Some

carpenters
use infected trees as colonies because the other bugs that the rot grows

are
tasty. The Cedar variety used the tree only as a home, and base of

activity.
There are likely Termite exterminators that would be helpful in diagnosis

and
treatment in you county yellow pages.


David Giunti email: unity
What is the question? Gertrude Stein's last words
No one mouth is big enough to utter the whole thing. Alan Watts

On Display in the UK
http://www.web-gallery.co.uk



 




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