Department of Natural Resources
(Pityophthorus juglandis + Geosmithia morbida)
*Not detected in Michigan*
Whitney Cranshaw, Col State University - Tiny adult walnut twig beetles
Whitney Cranshaw, CSU, bugwood.org -
Whitney Cranshaw, CSU, bugwood.org - Thousand cankers disease tree death
Whitney Cranshaw, CSU - Exit holes of TCD beetles
Why we care: Thousand cankers disease (TCD) involves an insect native to the southwestern U.S. and a newly identified pathogen. It is a relatively new concern for black walnut trees. When tiny walnut twig beetles feed on tree branches, they introduce a fungal pathogen that causes TCD in live trees. The pathogen kills small areas of tissue, resulting in cankers. As more cankers form, branches die and over time, the entire tree succumbs.
What is at risk? Michigan’s forests are home to approximately 8.5 million black walnut trees with an economic value of more the $86 million and ecological value as a food source for birds, mammals and other wildlife. There are also more than 80 walnut growers in Michigan with approximately 4,000 trees in nut production.
The threat: Black walnut trees in many western states, and in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, are dying from TCD. The beetle and fungus can be transported into new areas in walnut logs, firewood and staves used for woodworking. Black walnut is a valuable timber species and important for wildlife.
What could happen in Michigan? An effective control for TCD has not been identified. A high proportion of black walnut trees will likely die if TCD becomes established in Michigan.
How to Identify Thousand Cankers Disease and Black Walnut
Links of Interest
This information was derived in part from Michigan State University bulletin “EXOTIC FOREST PESTS: Let’s keep them out of Michigan”, May 2013.