Asked September 29, 2017, 10:16 AM EDT

I have a tall tree in my yard and noticed a lot of large dark ants at the base going into some holes at the base of the tree. There were also a couple large wasps of some kind landing in that area too. I didn't know what was going on and if there is something I can do to stop it. I am thinking the tree must be in some kind of stress? I am wondering if the dark area is from the tree or is it coming from all of the ants back and forth?

Sussex County Delaware trees and shrubs insect issues

1 Response


The blackened spot looks like slime flux or bacterial wet wood. The insects will feed on the liquid oozing out of the tree. Often times, trees can live a very long time with this bacteria inside. See Penn State's fact sheet about this.

Carol Quish