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Weeping Willow

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by L Acke on July 17, 2006 04:41 AM
When I was little, there was a HUGE weeping willow tree in our neighbors backyard. I loved that tree - I used to climb it. It was such a massive tree that was part of the beauty of our neighborhood. Well, one day the people had the tree cut down! My mom asked them why and they said it was stricken with carpenter ants. There is no way to treat a tree safely to get rid of these ants. My mom said that explains why we had all these ants in our house. Once the tree was gone, so were the ants.

Fast-forward 25 years and we have a great massive willow tree in our backyard just like the one I had growing up! Complete with tree swings and all. My son can't wait (nor can I) to climb this tree. Well, I was out looking at the tree today and noticed large ants climbing up the trunk - similar to the ants we had in our house. We have these ants in our house, but we have a lot of old railroad ties as landscaping around our yard, which I have plans to tear them up this summer. I just attributed the ants to those ties.

My question is, are these ants destructive to a willow tree? I can live with these ants a few months a year, but I can't bear to think about chopping this tree down!

Thanks again for all your help! I have posted questions before regarding trees & shrubs and I appreciate your responses! This is a great board!

by Longy on July 17, 2006 11:56 AM
Here's some info on carpenter ants Laura. Pesky critters it seems but not impossible to erradicate. It would seem a shame to have to rip out the railroad ties to get rid of them too.

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The secret is the soil.
by The Plant Doc on July 17, 2006 12:14 PM
Actually carpenter ants are not bad to have what-so ever! They do NOT eat live growing tissue. Rot in a tree is like a cancer which spreads unless removed totally so the tree can heal around it. Carpenter ants only eat rotting wood, and they are doing it where you can not reach to prune it out yourself. They are very much a beneficial insect and can help out greatly.

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Mike Maier
The Plant Doc

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