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Forum topic by mbs posted 10-24-2013 02:42 AM 1363 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1657 posts in 3116 days

10-24-2013 02:42 AM

There is a local walnut tree that ive considered removing and slabbing for furniture. I cut a branch off and i found termites.

I don’t want to go to the trouble and expense if the termites have really caused damage. But, sometimes the holes and channels add character to the wood. Anyone else have experience with termites?

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

15 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2183 days

#1 posted 10-24-2013 08:53 AM

Do you REALLY want to chance bringing some of them buggers into your shop? I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to risk it.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View mahdee's profile


4006 posts in 1943 days

#2 posted 10-24-2013 12:24 PM

Yes, termites and bugs can create some nice characters in wood. I use such wood all the time; the bugs either leave or die once the wood is dry. Although it is a good idea once the wood is milled, to expose it to freezing cold for a few days before stacking them to dry.


View 489tad's profile


3448 posts in 3187 days

#3 posted 10-24-2013 12:53 PM

mbs, your in AZ so I don’t know much about the type of termite you might have. I’ve only have experience with subterranean termites. Subterranean would have to come from the trunk up to the branch. The flying variety could land on a branch and infest from there. If thats the case you might get luck and the trunk could be useable. If it was subterranean the channels would be too big and the wood would have to be rotten for them to get in the first place. I would take some termites to a pest control company for identification. Good luck.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5257 posts in 1896 days

#4 posted 10-25-2013 02:20 AM

I haven’t done anything with termite infested wood, but I have used wood with carpenter ant damage. To make sure they’re all dead and gone, I’ll usually use a bug killer on the log, then again on the rough sawn planks after cutting. I use a blow gun to clean out all of the passages of any dead bugs, or bug by products. The wood were they have been is much weaker so I usually only use a polyurethane or lacquer finish to help reinforce the compromised areas to lock everything into place.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2250 days

#5 posted 10-25-2013 02:24 AM

Do you have access to a kiln? That would git rid’a the little stinkers!!

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15651 posts in 2794 days

#6 posted 10-25-2013 02:46 AM

I’ve had to treat for termites three times in my shop space, wouldn’t touch wood like that if I knew about it before hand. Incredibly destructive beasts…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3116 days

#7 posted 10-25-2013 03:14 AM

Joey – I don’t want to take the chance of infesting my home. There is a lot of conflicting information about how to treat the wood. Some say freezing temps will kill the termites and the wood will be in freezing temps. I don’t know if the termites will leave the walnut when they get cold and go into my warm house/garage. Another pest control person suggested putting a tarp over the wood and gassing them for 3 days.

Dan – I’ve had two termite experts look at the critters and they’re not sure which type without seeing the tree. I took the limb off the tree about 9’ above the ground. The termites were in the heartwood and there were boreholes in the sapwood.

I’m most concerned about spending the money to get a tree that is badly decayed/eaten.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3116 days

#8 posted 10-25-2013 03:15 AM

Ironically, I found termites in my garage this week but its unrelated to this wood. My neighbor has them too.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View 489tad's profile


3448 posts in 3187 days

#9 posted 11-05-2013 02:12 PM

mbs, I just saw this entry and was wonder how you made out. My two cents, forget the tree. Cut it down, remove it and pour a termite insecticide on the stump. You could put a bait system near the stump hopefully they will find it and bring the bait back to the colony. If your willing you might be able to treat the garage yourself. Hardest part will be drilling holes every 8 to 10 inches in the concrete floor. I should ask is the garage attached to your house? If so I’d have a pro do it. If that is the case and the termites are only in the garage you might get away with a full treatment on the garage and a preventative on the house. You might not get a full warranty or any at all if you did that way. Preventative is just an exterior soil treatment. Is your house on a slab? If so, do the heating ducts run in the slab? Slab homes are tricky to treat. Now that you know you have them always look at the foundation and inside look for piles of dust and mud tubes. Good luck.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3116 days

#10 posted 11-05-2013 02:17 PM

I had a professional treat the garage with termidor. It’s an attached slab.

I decided to get the tree. If the termites are dry wood I will fumigate them before I take the wood off the property. If the are subterranean I don’t think they will live after the tree is cut.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View 489tad's profile


3448 posts in 3187 days

#11 posted 11-05-2013 02:31 PM

You are correct the termites will not survive after the tree is cut. Just keep it dry. They need moisture to survive. If you can slab it, the sooner the better. Just keep watching your house. Take care.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2688 days

#12 posted 11-05-2013 03:09 PM

Thing about termites they don’t nest like bees and other incests, they have huge…. and I mean huge caverns underground that spread for very large areas, a cavern can spread under up to four houses more or less just depends on the size of the hive, that’s why you see them popping up at various locations, they are prob from the same hive.

Dan is 100% correct, they have to have moisture, they use dirt tunnels when they migrate from the ground and are visible unless you have a crack in your foundation they will come up the outside of the walls.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View robscastle's profile


5388 posts in 2380 days

#13 posted 11-06-2013 06:56 AM

Have a chat to Nate Meadows he can possibly arrange for some FAE to sort them out!
Otherwise not worth the risk I would say.

-- Regards Rob

View b2rtch's profile


4863 posts in 3224 days

#14 posted 11-06-2013 10:17 AM

I had a house in California in which, during the night, I could hear the termites eat my house away. We had the house tented ( treated) several times , in vain.
In the garage you could push a nail all the way the through a 2×4 with the little finger, nothing was left inside just a pellicule of wood on the outside. Scary.

-- Bert

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3116 days

#15 posted 11-06-2013 01:34 PM

I had two termite exterminators look at the wood. They said the termites won’t survive the winter since I’m taking it to a 7500 ft elevation. I hope they’re correct.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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