Ants and Fungi work together to weaken the tree! And then..........

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When do you know if a tree is safe or needs to be removed? Read more to find out!

This past weekend, a thunderstorm rolled through Perry with some brief high winds. This tree lost the battle with the wind.




The broken tree shows a huge infestation of ants.




Carpenter Ants have one node on their body.




The homeowner did say he saw ants on the trunk.




There was also a large dead portion of the tree about 15 feet up.


trunk top


The ants and the fungi work together to weaken the tree. You can see the decay in the split tree.




Carpenter ants are only indirectly responsible for the structural weakening of trees.  The primary cause is interior rot. The ants take advantage of the softening of the wood by fungal digestion to make it easier for them to create their tunnels.  It’s an important distinction because people commonly blame the ants and believe that by eliminating the ants, they are “saving” trees.


The question is: “How do you know if your tree is safe?”


The answer lies in “You call a certified arborist, with the TRAQ credential".  The ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (ISA TRAQ) is a voluntary qualification program designed to train and assess candidates in a specialized field of arboriculture. When a professional earns the ISA TRAQ credential, they should be recognized by their peers and the public as a tree care professional who has specialized knowledge in tree risk assessment. To earn the qualification, eligible candidates must complete a training course, and pass both a comprehensive written assessment and a performance-based assessment. To maintain the qualification, current credential holders must retrain and retest every five years. An ISA Certified Arborist with TRAQ certification is qualified to evaluate hazardous trees without putting their company at risk for litigation.


You can search for a certified ISA Arborist by visiting the following website and searching by zip code:


This ISA certification ensures the arborist is trained to analyze trees and make recommendations.   Safety to the homeowner and property are of primary concern when it comes to trees.