Wise to utilize logs from dead trees cut down in garden

Asked June 3, 2020, 6:40 PM EDT

The county just cut down a substantial size pine and oak approximately 500 feet from my residence. I have incorporated several of the logs within my landscaping. There are carpenter ants and termites visible under some bark. Am I taking too great a risk of using possibly diseased wood in my landscape that is comprised of 95% native trees, shrubs, and perennials.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Both carpenter ants and termites are native and normal in Maryland landscapes. Their niche is to break down old wood, part of the decomposition process. You already have these insects in your landscape somewhere, and adding this wood is not introducing anything new.

Using the wood is fine, keeping in mind that it is going to naturally slowly decompose. We would not recommend that you use it within 10 feet of your house however because you don't want to encourage a nest close to the house.