Hearing the word termite can be scary. Termites are known for their ability to silently cause extensive damage to trees, but understanding how to detect their presence can be crucial. When termites infest a tree, they consume the wood inside until the tree can no longer stand, causing the tree to become a hazard.
The tender areas of a tree are where termites are most likely to feed because their main food is the cellulose in the tree. Cellulose has a structural role in trees and is the compound that gives rigidity to the tree's cells. The bonds between each cellulose molecule are very strong, so when the cellulose bonds are broken, this causes the structure of the tree to weaken and the tree to start to die.
Termites, which live in colonies, are small-white-soft-bodied insects that sometimes have wings. They are often referred to as white ants. There are two types- the dry wood termites and the subterranean termites.
Subterranean termites form their colonies in tree root crowns and trunks. The termites burrow into the wood in a honeycombed pattern and as they continue to burrow, they make the wood of the tree significantly weaker. If you detect ENTRANCE HOLES which look like round holes found in different parts of the surface of the tree, this usually indicates a presence of termites. Pictured here is an example of a tree we removed due to Termite Damage which can be seen by all the Entrance Holes.
You can also check for termite damage by tapping on the wood or pushing a screwdriver into it. If the wood sounds hollow or the screwdriver breaks through the wood, you may find termites working inside your tree.
So how do you save a tree from termites? Depending on the situation you have the option of chemical treatments or termite bait. If the tree can be saved it is best to consult a pest control company or professional tree doctor. If the tree can not be saved, it is best to have it removed by a professional arborist company, like Salas Services, to prevent it from becoming a dangerous hazard.