Ants – Harmful to Tree?

Q: I have an Autumn Glory maple that we planted two years ago. I see ants on the trunk during the year. I have treated the ground with some ant killer but still I see these little holes that ants go into.

A: I don’t have great news. The worrisome thing is not the ants but that huge wound in the trunk. I can see the tree bark is trying to close over the wound, but I don’t think it will ever fill the gap.

As the tree grows taller, that wound will decay and become a weak spot in the trunk. One day when you least expect it, the trunk will break at that point.

Most independent nurseries will replace it for you if you can prove the wound was there when it was purchased.