Can Carpenter Ants Kill Trees? Should You Worry?

Have you ever wondered, “Can carpenter ants kill trees?” Discovering a thriving carpenter ant colony proves distressing, as some colonies can contain over 100,000 insects. However, carpenter ant nests in your trees do not necessarily seal the fate of your property’s landscape. 

Wood-boring insects seek moist, rotted wood to build nests and reproduce. Healthy trees free from wood rot, frost cracks, and wounds create unsuitable environments for invasive insects. Carpenter ants rarely cause rotted wood; instead, they take advantage of already decomposing trees for food, shelter, and water. 

This blog post answers, “Can carpenter ants kill trees?” If you discover carpenter ants in your trees, contact a professional tree service in Massillon, OH. With the help of trained professionals, you can prevent troublesome insects from further deteriorating diseased trees on your property. 

Understanding Carpenter Ants 

Unlike termites or powderpost beetles, carpenter ants do not initially cause tree cavities or wood decay found in dying trees. Many carpenter ants species living in nature play an essential role in speeding tree decomposition. Dead trees on the forest floor benefit from carpenter ants’ ability to break down organic matter and spread vital nutrients to the soil and surrounding plants. 

However, carpenter ants quickly take advantage of dying trees on your property. But can carpenter ants kill trees? Absolutely, but only if your trees already suffer from wounds, tree leaf diseases, or dying branches. 

Signs of carpenter ant infestations in your trees include: 

  • Entry and exit pathways 
  • Small wood shavings at the tree’s base 
  • Small circular holes in trees
  • Discolored bark 

How Carpenter Ants Harm Trees 

Think of carpenter ant infestations in trees like bacterial infections on scratched skin. Bacteria and diseases more easily develop on skin abrasions, but if you stay safe and avoid lacerations, you significantly reduce the risk of dealing with problematic skin infections. Carpenter ants stay clear of healthy trees, primarily targeting wounded, diseased trees as food sources. 

Tree health concerns that draw carpenter ants to your home, trees, and landscape include: 

Frost Cracks 

Frost cracks develop when rapidly fluctuating temperatures disrupt your tree’s growing cycle. If warmer weather prompts foliage growth and an unexpected frost occurs, vertical frost cracks can form on your tree trunk. Carpenter ants seek damaged bark for shelter and essential moisture. 

Tree Wounds 

Improper pruning cuts into branch collars commonly cause concerning tree wounds. Exposed tree wounds create breeding grounds for insect infestations and mold growth, suitable environmental conditions for pesky carpenter ants. Work with trained professionals when trimming and pruning your trees to protect your trees from wounds, diseases, and infections. 

Dying Branches 

If you are wondering, “Can carpenter ants kill trees?” inspect your tree’s branches. Reduced foliage growth and weak branch connections may create ideal conditions for carpenter ant infestations. Thoroughly examine your tree’s branches once a month for signs of discoloration, cracked bark, and fungal infections. 

Growing Healthy Trees 

Store-bought insecticides may help reduce carpenter ant populations but fail to address more serious underlying problems. Tree service experts can help you thwart insect infestations and create unsuitable environments for any wood-boring insects. Services offered by professional arborists include: 

  • Tree health evaluations
  • Tree care maintenance plans 
  • Soil quality testing 
  • Trimming and pruning services 
  • Tree cabling 

Grow happy and healthy trees by working with highly-trained professionals. 

Call Petrarca Landcare for Exceptional Tree Services 

Petrarca Landcare has proudly served Stark County and the surrounding areas for over 13 years. We specialize in preventing tree-eating bugs from deteriorating our client’s trees. Call Petrarca Landcare at (330) 933-0562 to speak with our excellent staff, receive your free estimate, and learn more about can carpenter ants kill trees in Massillon, OH! 

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