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batmans
05-16-2005, 03:41 PM
I have a weeping cherry tree that developed a sunscald hole in the trunk last year. This spring I noticed that very tiny black ants are climbing up the tree and into the hole. They are also climbing higher and are seen on the leaves. I put Triazicide around the tree base twice already and lately haven't seen any more ants on the tree. Could they be harming my tree in any way? I've tried smashing ones that I see with my fingers against the bark, but they won't smash - they just keep on going. Is there some kind of product I can buy to close the hole in the bark up so they can't get inside or should I not worry about it? I don't want to lose this tree - I thought it wasn't going to survive this spring, but thanks to miracle grow, it has snapped out of it and looking good for now. Just concerned about what these ants are doing to my tree.

saccharum
05-16-2005, 06:45 PM
Ant species in the US don't cause any harm to a tree. If there was an area of rotten wood in the sunscald wound, they may have been starting to excavate their nest, but even then they do not dig into sound wood (they tunnel into rotten wood only). So, generally ants do not require any control.

The only case where ants might be a problem is if your tree has a major problem with aphids or scales. Ants and aphids have a symbiotic relationship - the aphids secrete a sugary substance called honeydew (slightly processed tree sap) that the ants like to eat, and the ants protect aphids from their natural predators.

In most cases, aphids don't cause serious harm to a tree, either.