It seems I have an ant nest at the base of one of my apple trees- G935 rootstock in the ground 3 years. I learned the hard way that ants running up and down blueberry bushes is a sign of aphids. Although the occupants of this nest do not seem to be concerned with the top side of the tree I am wondering if this could likewise be sign of something more pernicious below ground that need concern me. Should I make anything of this? Obliged. NJPete
Most critters look for a good home that is safe for nesting. Ants like dry places. If there is a dry cavity or crevass between or under a stone (or under your apple roots)…they’ll take it.
Certainly there can be damage, but it’s’ not necessarily a problem. Size or species and their habits vary though.
Or it could be the opposite. It has been brutally dry this season and I’m seeing more ants on my bushes, a colony of carpenter ants even moved into a rhubarb plant and I mean literally bored into it. The ants may be looking for a moist environment.
Late 1960’s or maybe 1970, I observed a drought summer and ants did a lot of damage to corn plants …fields of corn. Perhaps they were obtaining moisture from the plants, but they sure raised more and bigger families that year than other years I’ve observed.
The whole ant-aphid relationship always concerns me. Perhaps I am paranoid, but I don’t like ants around my trees.