Do we have a termite problem in our tree?

Asked June 24, 2020, 10:33 AM EDT

Hi UMD - We recently moved into our house and noticed this big knot on our tree, with what looks like potential termite activity in it, and some holes in the bark in other places. We haven't seen any termites in there, but have noticed a lot of ants. Do we have a termite problem? Will we be able to save the tree? Thank you!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

We don't see signs of termite problems. It looks more like possibly carpenter ants. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but will use rotting, moist wood for nesting and eat the fungal growth there.
Here is our page on them: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/carpenter-ants
The holes in the bark are from boring beetles.

The tree doesn't look bad but we suggest you have a certified arborist (ISA certification by the International Society of Arboriculture) come and make sure the tree is not a fall hazard in bad weather, as lots of internal rot can negatively affect structural integrity.
Most larger tree companies have ISA -certified arborists on staff, or you can search for one at www.treesaregood.org


Christine