Ants - Ants live in trees and eat elsewhere. Ants control the environment inside the tree. If ants in their present form grew to the size of elephants, their bodies would be crushed by gravity. More on the topic: Ants are social insects that live in colonies, live in the soil, or in trees and timber, have 3 distinct body parts and a strong constriction or "waist" between the thorax and abdomen, and when wings form, they are of unequal size. The castes include females, males, and workers. Females are generally winged, but the wings fall off after mating. Males are usually smaller than females and generally retain their wings until death. Workers are wingless and usually smaller than the males and females. Ants eat other small animals, plant sweet fluids such as sap from wounds, nectar, and honeydew produced by other insects. Ants and aphids are often seen together on plants. Three types of ants are potential problems for trees. The leaf cutting ants such as the Texas leaf-cutting ant can remove many leaves from a tree, especially young pine seedlings, and young orchard trees. The Allegheny mound ant can injure or even aid to the death of the symplast of young pines by wounding the trunks and by injecting formic acid into them. The ants aid to the death of the symplast of trees that shade their nests, but they do not remove the wood out of the forest. (See "Kill and Die") The carpenter ants receive the most attention because they are seen commonly in trees and poles. Many trees and utility poles that had carpenter ants and other species have been dissected, and we doubt very much that the ants were causing the decay columns to increase. (See NEW TREE BIOLOGY DICTIONARY, SHIGO, 1986) Instead, we believe they regulate the development of the column, and if anything, decrease its rate of development. Ants live in the tree; the galleries are their homes. They keep the galleries clear of debris and allow air to circulate. Such conditions are not best for the growth of decay-causing fungi. Do not blame the decay on the ants. In other words - The ants in the tree are there because the wood is in an optimal condition for their establishment. Most likely an old wound or injury. If you have carpenter ants in your house than you have wood in a condition in which they are attracted. Some call it rotten wood but that's a poor term to represent the highly ordered succession of microorganisms with wood. If you remove the tree, you do not remove the similar wood from your house. An example, what if we made 2x4’s out of the wood in the tree you speak of and put it in your house? The ants will know its there and they will be there. Don’t believe because I said, but because you see it for yourself. Click here for a sample
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