“Carpenter ants nest in trees in one of two situations: 1) in rotted, decayed wood or 2) in the center heartwood section of the tree. In neither case are they harmful to the tree. Control is unnecessary for the tree’s health, as the ants are taking advantage of preexisting soft, weak wood to establish their colony. Insects, disease, or environmental conditions such as drought are often responsible for weakening and killing limbs or sections of trees. This allows wood rot to set in, which results in wood decay, giving carpenter ants the opportunity to colonize the tree. Carpenter ants use knots, cracks, holes, and old insect tunnels to gain access to these areas.”
Ants are very interesting bugs. I went out today to do my usual photowalk and I found these carpenter ants colonizing a tree near my apartment. After getting these shots I went online to identify the ants and I found this article by Jeffrey Hahn, Colleen Cannon, and Mark Ascerno of the University of Minnesota.