Walnut Tree Quarantine In Morgan And Rhea Counties Due To Thousand Cankers Disease

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture today announced the discovery of a walnut tree killing disease, Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), in Morgan and Rhea Counties. Walnut Twig Beetles, which transmit the disease causing fungus and the disease itself, have been found in both counties. The counties are now under quarantine. Citizens in these counties cannot move walnut tree products and hardwood firewood outside the quarantined counties.

Bledsoe, Cumberland, Fentress, Hamilton, and Meigs Counties are now considered buffer regulated counties because they are adjacent to a quarantined county. Polk and Sequatchie Counties are being placed in the buffer regulated category because of the finding of Walnut Twig Beetles in those counties. Bradley County is also being placed in the buffer regulated category because it is surrounded on the Tennessee side by other buffer regulated counties. Citizens in buffer counties can move walnut tree products and hardwood firewood within buffer counties, but not outside. Product can also be moved into a quarantine county, but not taken back out.

“We will continue to survey for the Walnut Twig Beetle and Thousand Cankers Disease to help slow the spread of the disease,” said TDA Plant Certification Administrator Gray Haun. “We are working with stakeholders to help educate citizens on the symptoms of TCD and how they can help.”

TCD is a progressive disease that may kill a tree within two to three years after initial symptoms are detected. The disease-causing fungus, Geosmithia morbida, is transmitted by the Walnut Twig Beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis. Branches and trunk tissue are killed by multiple infections of the fungus as the beetles carry the fungus from one area to the next.

TDA plant inspectors and foresters will continue to conduct a thorough survey of trees in these areas to assess the extent of the infestation and to see if more areas need to be quarantined. Counties already under quarantine for TCD include Anderson, Blount, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Sevier and Union. Adjacent counties to the quarantined areas are also restricted for movement of walnut products and hardwood firewood.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry estimates that 1.38 million black walnut trees in Tennessee’s urban areas are potentially at risk from TCD. The risk represents an estimated value loss of $1.37 billion. There are an estimated 26 million black walnut trees on Tennessee public and private timberland potentially valued as high as $1.47 billion. 

TDA officials urge area residents and visitors to help prevent the spread of TCD:

· Don’t transport firewood, even within Tennessee.  Don’t bring firewood along for camping trips. Buy the wood you need from a local source. Don’t bring wood home with you.

· Don’t buy or move firewood from outside the state.  If someone comes to your door selling firewood, ask them about the source, and don’t buy wood from outside the state. 

· Watch for signs of infestation in your black walnut trees.  If you suspect your black walnut tree could be infested with TCD, visit http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/regulatory/tcd.shtml for an online symptoms checklist and report form or call TDA’s Regulatory Services Division at 800 628-2631

More information about Thousand Cankers Disease and forest health threats in Tennessee can be found at www.ProtectTNForests.org. For more information about other programs and services of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture visit www.tn.gov/agriculture


New Study Says Water Vapor Is Global Warming Amplifier

A new study from scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues says rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere – a key amplifier of global warming – will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades. The new study is the first to show that increased water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere are a ... (click for more)

Tellico Wild: A Weekend Of Wilderness In The Cherokee National Forest

Tennessee Wild is hosting a weekend of free outdoor activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act of 1964, and to support protecting special forest places while promoting the Tellico Region and Cherokee National Forest as the ideal destination for outdoor recreation in the southeast.   Come learn more about a key effort to protect special places in ... (click for more)

Plan Proposed For Lookout Mountain, Ga., Homeowners To Pay $10 Per Month For 8 Years For Sewer Upgrades

Lookout Mountain, Ga., officials are proposing a $10 per month charge for each homeowner for eight years to pay for sewer upgrades. The town's sewer system, that was installed 15 years ago, works with the help of grinder pumps at each of the 605 houses in the town. The life expectancy of this equipment is 20 years and the need for replacements has already begun. City Manager ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s ... (click for more)