Ants in Silver Maple Tree

Asked September 15, 2017, 11:34 AM EDT

Hi! We have a large (probably 40-60 year old) silver maple tree in the yard. It is mostly a healthy tree but we recently noticed that a limb had died. We cut off the limb and then noticed it had ants. We then noticed a large number of ants at the base of the tree. We sprayed the base of the tree, which seemed to kill those ants. However, what about the ants that might be in the tree? Is this a larger problem we need to address? We are concerned about the health of the rest of the tree. Is there a place we can find qualified tree doctors if we need more help?

Frederick County Maryland trees and shrubs insect issues

1 Response

It is very likely that the ants you saw were carpenter ants that were nesting in soft wood. Carpenter ants do not kill trees, but they are a sign that your tree may have a serious problem. Carpenter ants are drawn to rotting wood and old decaying trees. Controlling the ants will not prolong the life of your tree. The tree should be examined by a certified arborist for a diagnosis and treatment plan. If the tree is severely declining, removal may be recommended. Branch dieback in silver maples is quite common. To find a certified arborist who can do an assessment of your tree, you can use the following website: