Development of regulatory treatments for thousand cankers disease

PARTNERS: USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection (Southern Region), University of Tennessee, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station

SUMMARY: Thousand cankers disease (TCD) is a pest complex caused by the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, and an associated fungus, Geosmithia morbida. TCD was first detected in the eastern United States in 2010. Eastern black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) are highly susceptible to TCD and are often killed as a result of infection, making it a serious threat to forest ecosystems and the forestry industry in the United States.

Primary activities of this project will be to investigate the ability of the TCD pathogen and vector to colonize and persist in cut logs, and to evaluate industry practices and fumigation schedules for efficacy in eliminating both causal organisms from walnut logs and lumber. Researchers will also collaborate with industry groups and state regulatory officials to implement a pest risk mitigation program that will facilitate safe movement of walnut material.

EFETAC'S ROLE: This project is supported by Eastern Threat Center funding.

STATUS: Ongoing

PROGRESS: Investigation is underway to determine acceptable thermal treatment regimes that satisfactorily control both insect and pathogen pests. A similar study is also underway to determine the fumigation schedules required to control these walnut pests. Results have been presented at the national Entomological Society of America meeting and the Second Annual Conference on Thousand Cankers Disease and Emerald Ash Borer in the Eastern United States.

A.E. Mayfield III, S.W. Fraedrich, A. Taylor, P. Merten, and S.W. Myers. 2014. Efficacy of heat treatment for the thousand cankers disease vector and pathogen in small black walnut logs. Journal of Economic Entomology 107(1):174-184.


LINKS:

USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection (Southern Region)

University of Tennessee

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Center for Plant Health Science and Technology

USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station
 

CONTACT: Paul Merten, USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection (Southern Region), pmerten@fs.fed.us or 828-257-4845


Updated March 2014

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