Back in 1970, a fire station was built to serve residents of the small towns of Pine and Strawberry located in Gila County. This fire station, which residents call “the shack”, is made entirely of wood and it was not constructed to withstand termite infestations. Residents and officials in the Pine-Strawberry District have long known that a termite infestation has compromised the building’s structural integrity. The structure’s wood flooring and timber support beams have been damaged extensively by termites, which has rendered the building uninhabitable. In response to the damage, residents voted in favor of building an entirely new fire station, which will likely be finished within a month or two, well ahead of schedule. The new structure has been expertly built to minimize the chances of another termite infestation from taking form within the structure. For example, the new building will be outfitted with a steel roof, and a termiticide barrier was likely applied within the soil surrounding the structure. Not far away from the Pine-Strawberry District, termite activity nearly resulted in a widespread power outage four years ago in Payson.
In East Verde Park, a homeowner’s cherry tree grew to the point where the trunk wrapped around the support wires holding up a power-pole. This became an urgent issue after officials learned that the tree had become seriously weakened by a termite infestation. The tree looked as though it was ready to topple over, and if the tree had fallen over, it would have taken the power-pole down with it, resulting in expensive damage and a loss of power. Officials were not about to let termites rob the surrounding residential area of electrical power, so with the property owner’s permission, the infested and dead tree was carefully removed without harming the power-pole. It is not uncommon for termites to attack dead fruit trees, and the dark western drywood termite was the species most likely responsible for the tree infestation.
Have you ever found termites infesting a tree or a termite damaged tree?