Feb 17, 2012

Newest Threat to IL Tree Population is Thousand Cankers Disease

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*Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

*Photo by Jim LaBonte, Oregon Department of Agriculture.

*Photo by Jim LaBonte, Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Walnut twig beetle and associated staining around tunnel.

Coalescing branch cankers produced by Geosmithia.

Adult twig beetle tunneling on excised stem after 24 hours.

Large trunk cankers of black walnut.
*Photos courtesy of Colorado State University

The disease preys on Black Walnut trees. According to IDOA, Illinois has approximately 2.3 million acres of forests that may contain black walnut trees.
Compiled by staff
Published: Feb 17, 2012

Governor Pat Quinn has proclaimed Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) to be a viable threat to Illinois' native Black Walnut tree population. Quinn approved regulatory measures this month to restrict the movement of potentially-infested products into Illinois as a preventative measure to protect the economical and environmental well-being of Illinois' walnut tree industry.

"Illinois has 2.3 million acres of forests that may contain black walnut and be susceptible to this disease," H.W. Devlin, acting director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, says. "Though TCD currently is not known to be here, these measures were warranted to protect our state's walnut resources."

Thousand Cankers Disease is a highly-contagious, invasive fungus primarily affecting North America's Black Walnut tree population. It is spread by the Walnut Twig Beetle (WTB), which introduces fungal spores into the tree when they form galleries in the phloem. The fungus colonizes the area around the galleries, forming cankers that cause a disruption of the flow of nutrients throughout the tree, resulting in dieback, decline, and eventually, death of the tree.

Because there are no current management strategies for TCD, the regulation of product movement is necessary to protect Illinois' walnut trees and walnut tree industry.

Individuals and businesses wishing to move regulated materials into or through Illinois that originate in a Thousand Cankers Disease infested area now must enter into a compliance agreement with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The materials must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the originating state verifying they comply with the conditions of the compliance agreement.

All regulated materials originating in areas not known to be infested with Thousand Cankers Disease now must be accompanied by proof of the harvest location of the wood by county and state.

"Regulated articles" are defined as the following:

1) All plants, plant parts, and products of the genus Juglans; articles of Juglans, including but not limited to logs, green lumber, firewood, nursery stock, bark, mulch, burls, stumps, and packing materials;

2) Any of the above said materials passing through a known infested state, regardless of origin;

3) All life stages of the Walnut Twig Beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis);

4) All life stages of the Geosmithia fungus (Geosmithia morbida);

5) Any article, product, or means of conveyance when it is determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spread of the Walnut Twig Beetle or the Geosmithia fungus. Exceptions are nuts, nutmeat, and hulls, processed lumber (100% bark free and kiln dried, with squared edges), and finished wood products without bark, including but not limited to walnut furniture, musical instruments, and gun stocks.

For more information regarding TCD, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture's website at www.agr.state.il.us and click on the Thousand Cankers Link on the right.

Walnut Resource in Illinois
• Approximately 12% of Illinois is forested (4.4 million acres). Of that forested land in Illinois,
53% of the forest cover consists of oak and hickory. Included in the hickory family is black
• We estimate that nearly 2.3 million acres of Illinois forests may contain black walnut and are
thus susceptible to TCD.
• These numbers do not include cultivated stands of walnut that occur throughout the state or
urban trees.
• Average Annual Net Growth of Black Walnut in Forests = 144 Million Board Feet1
• Illinois ranks 5th in the U.S. with regard to volume of black walnut growing stock on
• Volume of Black Walnut Sawtimber Trees in Forests = 885 Million Board Feet (for 11 inch
diameter trees or larger) 1
• Black Walnut Trees Harvested per Year = 120,000 *based on Doyle log scale using 20”
diameter tree with saw-log of 16’ per tree1
• Walnut Board Harvested per Year = 15.6 Million Board Feet1
• Value of Black Walnut Harvested per Year = $13.1 million (paid as stumpage price to owner)
or $18.3 million (paid as logs at mill price to loggers) *lowest conservative estimates of log
value sold from forest without added value of veneer. Does not include added value of
manufacturing, re-selling, export, or retail products. 1

Illinois at Risk
• Any activity that allows rapid movement of commodities also allows the development of fastmoving
• Illinois has 2 of the largest rail gateways: Chicago (nation’s primary rail gateway) and East
St. Louis.7
• Illinois has an interstate highway systems of >2,000 miles and >34,000 miles of other
highways. Three coast-to-coast interstates (I-80, I-90, and I-70) pass through Illinois.
• Illinois has over 1,000 miles of navigable waterways. 7
• Potential long-distance pathways of dissemination include: raw timber (veneer quality logs,
saw logs, burls, stumps), firewood, wood packing material, nursery stock, scion wood for
grafting, nuts, and natural spread.9
• A key pathway of forest pest movement is raw wood, particularly with bark still intact.9
• Compliance agreements are held by 43 firewood importers according to the Illinois
Department of Agriculture. Emerald ash borer (EAB) state compliance agreements number
1329 while there are 159 federal EAB compliance agreements.
• University of Illinois Extension Forestry states there are significantly more than 100 sawmills
in Illinois.
• Solid wood packing material (SWPM) is a potential pathway for the movement of exotic bark
beetles, including WTB as SWPM is often made of unprocessed raw wood. The National
Wooden Pallet Association estimates that 1.2 billion pallets are currently in circulation in the
United States, with 93% of all goods moving on those pallets. 9
• Illinois Department of Agriculture has more than 700 certified/licensed nurseries and over
3,400 certified nursery stock dealers.

Related Links:
Permies.com Forum - Thousand Cankers Disease TCD at permies.com
Farm Progress.com/Article
Thousand Cankers Black Walnut Disease
In response to the Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) threat, on February 1, 2012, the Governor of the State of Illinois issued a proclamation which established a regulatory framework to protect the walnut resource of the state. The proclamation restricts the movement of certain regulated articles into or through Illinois and establishes a process by which individuals and businesses can continue to move those articles without endangering the state's walnut resource.

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