Friday, March 2, 2012

3 things you should know about thousand cankers disease

1.       TCD is fatal to walnut trees.  Thousand cankers disease (TCD) is a fungal-insect complex that infects walnut and butternut.  Symptoms begin with yellowing of leaves during summer.  Gradual decline follows as limbs die.  Within 3 years from symptom development, entire trees die.  There is no treatment for thousand cankers disease (TCD) - no preventative and no cure.

2.       TCD is at our backdoor.  The disease has already been detected in Tennessee, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  TCD will be devastating if/when it enters our state.  Every Kentuckian can help stop the spread by monitoring local walnut trees.  Look for leaf yellowing or branch “flagging,” as well as overall tree decline.  Thinning canopies or dieback from the tops down is often paired with water sprouts extending from bases of trees.  Small, dime to quarter-size cankers form under bark but may not be detected without peeling back bark.

3.       TCD moves with wood.  Small beetles carry the fungus from tree to tree, but trees are moved by humans.  Reduce the likelihood of transmission of TCD by using locally processed lumber and firewood.  Never move wood from quarantined areas.  Contact authorities before removing dead or unhealthy walnut trees.

Submit samples of suspected diseased trees to your UK Extension county agent by following sampling instructions from PPFS-OR-W-15.  Additional information on TCD can be found at:        NA-PR-02-10 from the National Forest Service, National Pest Alert, or the photo gallery at Forestry Images.  If you suspect TCD, contact your local UK Extension agent.

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