Officials detect additional walnut twig beetles in Butler County

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently announced more detections of Walnut Twig Beetle in Butler County in southwest Ohio.

The Walnut Twig Beetle is a small beetle known to carry a fungus that causes Thousand Cankers Disease, which threatens the health and sustainability of walnut trees. The beetles were found in traps set by ODA officials near walnut trees in Butler County.

Beetles were found in 9 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.

Quarantine

ODA officials have quarantined walnut products that have the potential to spread the pest 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 13 other states. In September 2012, ODA enacted an exterior state quarantine regulating the transportation of walnut products from areas of the affected states.

ODA will move to expand its TCD quarantine to include Butler County. Ohio’s updated quarantine, enforced by the ODA’s Plant Health Division, would add Butler County and other newly infested counties in other states. The quarantine would restrict walnut materials from entering Ohio from areas where TCD has become established.

Restricted products originating from or traveling through the regulated areas include walnut nursery stock, unprocessed walnut lumber, or any other walnut material, such as logs, stumps, roots, branches, mulch, wood chips and all firewood. Exemptions to the quarantine are nuts, nut meats, hulls, processed lumber (bark-free and kiln-dried) and finished wood products without bark, such as walnut furniture, instruments and gun stocks.

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 will continue to survey the Butler County area for beetles, as well as surveying walnut trees for signs of TCD.

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