Walnut pest found in southwest Ohio

The Ohio Department of Agriculture last week announced more detections of the walnut twig beetle in Butler County in southwest Ohio. The insect carries a fungus that causes deadly, incurable thousand cankers disease (TCD) in walnut trees, although at this point the disease itself hasn’t been found in the county.

The beetles were found in traps set by department officials near walnut trees in Butler County, officials said. Beetles were found in nine of 26 traps. This is the second time walnut twig beetles have been detected in Butler County. In late 2012 the beetles were found in traps set by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry officials near a wood processing business. ODA officials have quarantined walnut products that have the potential to spread the pest from leaving the site of discovery, the agency said.

The following experts in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences can offer insight on the fungus and its implications:

* Nancy Taylor is program director of the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic. She is involved with testing suspect walnut samples for TCD. Columbus, 614-292-5006, taylor.8@osu.edu.

* Dan Herms is a professor in the Department of Entomology. He processed the samples that first 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 Asian longhorned beetle. Wooster, 330-202-3506,herms.2@osu.edu.

* Cindy Meyer is an agriculture and natural resources educator in Ohio State University Extension’s Butler County office. She works with woodland owners and sawmill operators, among others, in the affected area. 513-887-3722,meyer.842@osu.edu.

* Amy Stone is an urban and consumer horticulture educator in OSU Extension’s Lucas County office. She conducts outreach and engagement programs on invasive species around Ohio, in part as coordinator of Ohio State’s Emerald Ash Borer Outreach Team. Toledo, 419-213-4254, stone.91@osu.edu.

* Kathy Smith is OSU Extension’s forestry program director. She leads Extension’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, conducts outreach and engagement programs on invasive species throughout Ohio, and can talk about TCD’s potential impact on Ohio’s forests. Columbus, 614-688-3136, smith.81@osu.edu.

* Eric McConnell is an assistant professor and OSU Extension specialist in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. He has done research estimating the economic impact of TCD and other invasive species in Ohio and can talk about TCD’s potential economic impact on Ohio’s forest industry. Columbus, 614-292-9838, mcconnell.213@osu.edu.

The walnut twig beetle, which is currently in 12 other states, was first found in Ohio at a single location in Butler County in late 2012. It so far hasn’t been detected in any other county in the state. ODA has now added Butler County to a list of national TCD quarantine areas.

OSU Extension offers a free fact sheet on thousand cankers disease athttp://go.osu.edu/VDX.

Stone, Smith and colleagues last year helped produce a free wallet-size TCD identification card. Details on how to get it are at http://go.osu.edu/Qrg.

The team also recently released a free smartphone app that allows users to report the walnut twig beetle and other invasive species to researchers. Details, including download instructions, are at http://go.osu.edu/GLEDNhttp://go.osu.edu/Qrj andhttp://go.osu.edu/VCn.

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