Are round holes in tree from termites?
Question: My dogs have been digging at the base of a maple tree in my backyard for a while. Recently, I have noticed that the tree it is wet about two feet from the base. There are perfectly round holes that look like they have been drilled into the base of the tree. I am told that the moisture is just the H2O seeping out of the tree! Is it termites? Should I cut it down? Will it spread?
ANSWER: I’m not sure what it is you found on the tree roots (and don’t know what would make those holes, beetles possibly)—but you don’t have termites. Native and Eastern subterranean termites do not typically infest live trees. Regardless, termites do not make round holes on the damaged wood. It could be some bark beetles (subfamily Scolytinae), and what you perceive as water flowing from the holes may be sap from the tree. This is a typical sign of infestation. The exit holes left by these beetles will resemble holes created by shotgun shot. A tree expert might be able to give you more information. You could also contact your local Department of Agriculture for some additional help in locating an arborist.
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