That might be it for the problem tree

There’s no love lost for us and the tree out on the back patio (inelegant thing – someone did a hack job on it ages ago and it’s never really recovered), but we tend to it, remove the suckers that it produces all spring, and otherwise pretty much ignore it.

I was removing all of the new growth at the base of the tree when I accidently snipped the Christmas lights that Neen strung around it in our first year in the house. Sad. I went to unwind them, and all the bark on the back side of the tree started falling away in 4”x10” chunks. Uh-oh.

A closer look revealed that the entire back of the tree has been reduced to powdery detritus.

And the cracks run all the way up the branches.

There are plenty of tiny ants, but they really look like ants, not termites. Regardless, time to start taking the thing down? I’m not totally sure how to manage it – if there’s a nest in the tree, I don’t want to give them time to evacuate and set up camp in a new nearby spot. Tricky.

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