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Termites & the Types of Trees They Attack

Lani Thompson

Termites eat dead wood, old roots and stumps and wood used in construction. Sometimes they even eat living shrubs and trees. Of all the wood-destroying pests in the world, termites are the most destructive.

Termites will eat any tree, but they do have their favorites.


Termites will eat the wood of any tree but they do have preferences. Termites like the sapwood of pines, cypress, red oak, eucalyptus and black cherry. A study found that loblolly pine and black cherry sapwood were at the top of the list of wood types that termites prefer, according to the University of Florida. Other woods that termites like include sugar maple, pecan, birch and red gum.

Resistant Woods

Some woods are resistant to termites. These include the heartwoods of California redwood, southern tidewater red cypress, southern pine that’s very pitchy, melaleuca and the heartwood of red cedar. As reported by the University of Florida, studies conducted in the 1970s found that heartwoods can be toxic to termites. Other woods that resist termites include Alaskan yellow cedar, mahogany, sassafras, Bolivian rosewood, Indian rosewood and Honduras rosewood.

Pressure Treated Wood

Termites don’t like pressure treated wood and will stop feeding on it after feeding on the surface. Eating pressure treated wood kills termites.