carpenter ants in wisteria vine trunk

(Question)

Bayview & Eglinton area, we have a 29 year old wisteria vine that has been invaded by carpenter ants. Can you suggest treatments or professionals we should hire. I have video of the ants at night, but I don’t know where there nest is within the grand old trunk. Photo was last year. No flowers this year.

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(Answer)

We are very sorry to learn that your gorgeous 29-year old wisteria vine is invaded by carpenter ants.

Carpenter ants nesting in trees are quite common, especially in older trees with dead branches and hollow cavities, since they are attracted to moist, decaying wood and excavate only dead wood. Control or elimination is usually not essential for the health of the tree, unless you need to prevent any satellite colonies from becoming established in adjacent structures. You are probably aware of this already; make sure the perimeter of your house remains clear of any dead plant matter, old wood, or piles of firewood, so that the ants don’t enter your house.

However, you noted that the wisteria did not flower this year. Thus the invasion may point to a more serious underlying ailment with the vine, which weakened it and made it attractive to the carpenter ants. You may wish to call an arborist to help you diagnose the problem. To find a certified professional arborist visit the Ontario branch of the International Society of Arboriculture – http://www.isaontario.com/content/public.

We wish you the best of luck in restoring your wisteria back to health.

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