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Old 11-01-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


I have several big trees in my backyard. I've noticed before that one of these was half gone, but never gave it much thought since I just moved it. Then today while out back, I noticed two more trees that had termite-type damage.

Are these gone then? What are my options with them?: cut them down and remove, cut down and burn (fire pit). Is it possible to treat this at all?

Another question - I have extremely old trees in the front yard (100+ yrs). How can I protect these from the same damage?

Thanks.



http://imgur.com/4WP0W.jpg
http://imgur.com/HGoRZ.jpg
http://imgur.com/OOG2n.jpg
http://imgur.com/jkmQb.jpg


Last edited by HautingLu; 11-01-2009 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:12 AM   #2
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


This more than likely is not termite damage. I was in the tree industry for 25 years and don't remember ever seeing actual termites in standing trees. I would call a local reputable tree expert co and get some opinions, it will be free.I would guess carpenter ants and yes there are treatable and as long as your trees are healthy, there would be no need for concern, they would only attack decaying parts of the tree.

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Old 11-02-2009, 06:59 AM   #3
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


Looks like the tree is suffering from a disease. The bugs are just moving in to take advantage of the dead material. They are the result, not the cause. I, personally, would take a tree like that down and be rid of it. It is severely damaged and not likely to recover. Almost looks like a lightning strike.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:57 AM   #4
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, these are 3 trees out back and several more around them.

Going to try to find someone local to come out and check them out.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:02 PM   #5
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


I am a meteorologist in Wisconsin with a few acres of Red Maples and BT Aspen. Are they the tallest trees around the property (or nearly)? It appears that you live in a northern climate.... it appears the maples are turning already. Are the damaged trees close together?

It appears to be lightning damage, at least a few years old (5-10). The lightning strike clips the top of one tree then skips to the nearby trees. I cut down a maple this spring that looked identical to the second picture. Lightning splits and kills portions of the bark, then bugs (carpenter ants, etc.) get in and begin eating the dead wood. Then woodpeckers come to chip out holes and eat the bugs. Then water & snow melt gets inside the cracks of the tree. Frost / Freeze cycle freezes the water in the cracks, it expands and makes the cracks bigger..... more water gets in and it freezes again.

First two trees look shot to me, at my house, I'd cut those two down. The big wound on the third picture you might be able to seal... if you really want to save it, call an Arborist to evaluate it. The fourth tree looks fine to me. Looks like to good trees for firewood GOOD LUCK!
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:33 AM   #6
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


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Originally Posted by PTP WX View Post
I am a meteorologist in Wisconsin with a few acres of Red Maples and BT Aspen. Are they the tallest trees around the property (or nearly)? It appears that you live in a northern climate.... it appears the maples are turning already. Are the damaged trees close together?

It appears to be lightning damage, at least a few years old (5-10). The lightning strike clips the top of one tree then skips to the nearby trees. I cut down a maple this spring that looked identical to the second picture. Lightning splits and kills portions of the bark, then bugs (carpenter ants, etc.) get in and begin eating the dead wood. Then woodpeckers come to chip out holes and eat the bugs. Then water & snow melt gets inside the cracks of the tree. Frost / Freeze cycle freezes the water in the cracks, it expands and makes the cracks bigger..... more water gets in and it freezes again.

First two trees look shot to me, at my house, I'd cut those two down. The big wound on the third picture you might be able to seal... if you really want to save it, call an Arborist to evaluate it. The fourth tree looks fine to me. Looks like to good trees for firewood GOOD LUCK!
Thanks PTP. I never gave a lightning strike any thought. I only acquired this property several months ago. I might try to ring up the sellers and ask them about that. I was concerned maybe that ants or termites were attacking my backyard, which would move its way up to my front yard and then start eating my 100yr old trees too.

All 3 trees are in a row together in the back, about 20-30ft apart. Sorry about the pics -- the last 2 pics are of the same tree. I guess the first 2 need to go and 3rd will be saved? I called up a local arborist to come by and see what he thinks.

I also have a pine in the front thats lost most of it's pines. Neighbor says it's been "sick" for the past few yrs. Looks like I'll have a lot of firewood for the firepit. Just goto make sure the ants don't start moving towards the house
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:08 AM   #7
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


Well the 'arborist' didn't offer much advice. Tree cutter by trade, he recommended cutting down the 2 bad trees and possibly the 3rd tree too. Or with the third tree, mortaring bad area to see if it helps. This I can do myself. He also recommended pruning 3 other trees. Cost @ $1500 to take down 2 trees and prune 3. I'm going to get some other quotes to take down the 2 bad trees.

Also, Saturday I had a great idea to put in a pull-up bar near my shed outside. There was already a hole there from the previous owners (who knows?). Anyways, I started digging the ditch already there, noticed it was pretty easy going. Noticed a few pieces of chewed wood chunks. Didn't give it much thought. Got a little deeper, noticed more wood, 'white ants', and larva type eggs. Initially I thought they were carpenter ants, but they weren't black, but were more clear/white-type looking ants. The shed is about 50ft from the house.

So what are my options now?

1. Try to DIY and buy some spray at Lowes. (or go with a DIY bait system).
2. Call a local pest guy like Orkin for a one-time treatment.
3. Call a local pest guy for a 'bait' system about the house and annual contract, etc..


I doubt this is an isolated incident, since there is either termites or carpenter ants out back in the dead trees. (I have a lot of trees on the property).
What are your guys recommendations?




http://imgur.com/bM0f8.jpg
http://imgur.com/3QM2z.jpg
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #8
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


I'd buy some killer at HD or Lowes & spray ASAP
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:29 AM   #9
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


Are you in Hawaii? Hawaii is well known for termite infestations. I would do 2 things, call a "real" arborist, not just a tree cutter,I can see no reason to remove any tree unless it is in danger of falling down on your house or poses danger to persons walking underneath it. Also call a "real" exterminator to see if you actually have a termite problem.There are many things a home owner,DYI, can do, but I believe these are 2 areas best left to experts
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:34 AM   #10
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
Are you in Hawaii? Hawaii is well known for termite infestations. I would do 2 things, call a "real" arborist, not just a tree cutter,I can see no reason to remove any tree unless it is in danger of falling down on your house or poses danger to persons walking underneath it. Also call a "real" exterminator to see if you actually have a termite problem.There are many things a home owner,DYI, can do, but I believe these are 2 areas best left to experts
Hawaii? Even better........Pennsylvania

I've noticed more chewed up wood pieces around the house.....old farm wood posts that were fallen over, and some wood planks holding up some ladders.

So they're definitely out there. In the short term, I'm going to cook up some boric acid and glycol, soak some 2x4's and bury them around the yard.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:26 AM   #11
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


Pa. I was raised there and it is where I worked in the tree industry for 20 years, don't know where I got Hawaii. Anyway, call a tree expert, there is probably no need for removal of any of these trees, they certainly are not infested with termites, carpenter ants maybe.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:17 AM   #12
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


Well the 3 trees are coming down today. Got a 2nd quote that was 1/3 of the original.

Chris, as you saw from the pics 1 is really damaged. The 2nd one next to it it hollowed out from bugs and what not. Since the 3rd is going to go eventually, I decided to get it down now.

Going to plant some pines or something in the back.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:54 AM   #13
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


Backyard looks a bit more open today

Guys did a great job at a good price. The third tree that I was hoping to save was pretty gone also. It was all wet on the inside.

I'll post some pictures later.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:55 PM   #14
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


It was all wet on the inside.

That is never a good sign, it was hard to tell from the pics but it sounds as if all three were somewhat dangerous and should have come down anyway.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:37 AM   #15
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Termites in trees out back. What are my options? (Pics)


I wouldn't say dangerous, just close enough to hit the neighbors fence if one of them fell over.

It hasn't rained here for a while, but the trunk of one of them was wet/moist and brown. Probably not a good sign.

Oh well.

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