Media Advisory: Ohio State Experts Available to Speak on Thousand Cankers Disease in Walnut Trees

Dec 12, 2012

 
Media Advisory: Ohio State Experts Available to Speak on Thousand Cankers Disease in Walnut Trees

Nuts, timber at risk? Two state agencies have announced the first discovery in Ohio of the walnut twig beetle, an insect that attacks walnut trees and in doing so can spread a disease-causing fungus that can kill the trees.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The following experts in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are available to speak with reporters about the first discovery in Ohio of the walnut twig beetle. The insect is known to carry the fungus that causes deadly Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) in walnut trees.

The disease itself hasn’t been found at this time, only the insect that can carry it, and only at a single wood-processing business in Butler County in the southwest part of the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which announced the discovery on Monday (12/10). Read the agencies’ press release at http://go.osu.edu/QrY.

  • Nancy Taylor is program director of the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic and is involved with testing suspect walnut samples for TCD. Based in Columbus. 614-292-5006, taylor.8@osu.edu.
  • Dan Herms is a professor in the Department of Entomology and processed the samples that revealed the insect’s presence in Butler County. He conducts research and outreach programs on invasive tree pests, including, recently, the emerald ash borer and the Asian longhorned beetle. Wooster, 330-202-3506, herms.2@osu.edu.
  • Cindy Meyer is an agriculture and natural resources educator with Ohio State University Extension based in Butler County. 513-887-3722, meyer.842@osu.edu.
  • Amy Stone is an urban and consumer horticulture educator in OSU Extension’s Lucas County office, conducts outreach and engagement programs on invasive species around the state, and coordinates the university’s Emerald Ash Borer Outreach Team. Toledo, 419-213-4254, stone.91@osu.edu.
  • Kathy Smith is OSU Extension’s forestry program director, leads Extension’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, conducts outreach and engagement programs on invasive species around the state, and can talk about TCD’s potential impact on forest health and forest resources in Ohio. Columbus, 614-688-3136, smith.81@osu.edu.
  • Eric McConnell is an assistant professor and OSU Extension specialist in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, has done research estimating the economic impact of TCD and other invasive species in Ohio, and can talk about the disease’s potential economic impact on Ohio’s forest industries. Columbus, 614-292-9838,mcconnell.213@osu.edu.

Stone, Smith and colleagues early this year helped produce a free wallet-size identification card for TCD. Details, including how to request it, are at http://go.osu.edu/Qrg.

The team also recently released a free smartphone app that allows users to spot and report invasive species, such as the walnut twig beetle, in Ohio and throughout the Midwest. Learn more, including how to download it, at http://go.osu.edu/Qrj.

An update on TCD and other new plant diseases will be presented at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 14 at the Ohio State University Nursery Short Course in Columbus, in conjunction with the CENTS conference for landscape, nursery and horticulture professionals.

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences’ outreach arm is OSU Extension. The college's research arm is the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Many of the scientists and specialists in the college hold joint appointments with both organizations.

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