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My live oak #396027 - Ask Extension

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My live oak #396027

Asked April 25, 2017, 11:04 PM EDT

My live oak has ants living inside of it and as you see in the picture where the branches meet the trunk it's darker and is easy to pick the bark off like it's dead. Otherwise the tree is blooming beautifully.

Denton County Texas

Expert Response

Thanks for the question.  Ants are not likely to pose a serious risk to the health of your tree; they may make their home in hollow spaces for protection from the elements and will not generally excavate healthy wood.

The darker colored bark is perfectly fine as well.  That dark area, often referred to as the branch bark ridge, marks a union between two branches or a branch and a stem.

In the spring, or anytime trees are actively growing in circumference, the bark loosen a little lose and become subject to sloughing off, especially near the branch bark ridge.  This is almost always nothing to be concerned about, especially with live oaks.
Jeff Floyd Replied April 26, 2017, 11:30 AM EDT
Ok thank you for the response. :-) 
The Question Asker Replied April 26, 2017, 12:34 PM EDT

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