The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced the first discovery of Walnut Twig Beetle in southwest Ohio. The Walnut Twig Beetle is a small beetle known to carry a fungus that causes Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), which threatens the health and sustainability of walnut trees. At this time, there have been no trees determined to be infested with TCD in Ohio.
The beetles were found in traps set by ODNR Division of Forestry officials at a wood processing business in Butler County. Eight beetles were found in the traps. ODA officials have quarantined walnut products from leaving the site of discovery.
TCD is caused when the Walnut Twig Beetles, which carry a fungus, bore into the branches and trunk tissue of walnut trees. The tree suffers repeated infections caused by the fungus and eventually dies. There is no known cure for TCD. The disease was first found in Colorado in 2003 and has since been detected in 11 other states. In September 2012, ODA enacted an exterior state quarantine regulating the transportation of walnut products from areas of the 12 affected states.
Although TCD has not yet been detected in Ohio, landowners and homeowners are strongly encouraged to watch for signs of TCD on their walnut trees. Symptoms of TCD vary, but commonly include thinning crowns, yellowing or wilted leaves in the crown, leaves that are smaller than normal and limbs that died recently.
State officials are surveying the Butler County area for beetles, as well as surveying walnut trees for signs of TCD. After further investigation, officials will determine an appropriate course of action.