We have a young black cherry tree that's about 7 feet tall. It has ants all over it. Not swarms of tiny ants but a regular scattering of "standard" ants. They do not appear to be harming the tree. All the leaves are healthy.
They'll wander up to the little nubs (as in this picture
), waggle their antennae about for a bit, and then wander away. They don't appear
to be harvesting any sap or biting the nubs, but I could be missing it.
The vast majority of my general googling on the topic is people suggesting they're farming aphids. There is absolutely no sign of aphids.
If they're not hurting the tree I'm fine leaving them; I'm just extremely curious as to what they're doing.
Dumb secondary question: those little nubs are where cherries grow from, right? The tree is new to us and has not yet born fruit (are the ants somehow keeping it from bearing fruit?)