Thousand Cankers Disease Hits Ohio

Curtis Utley, CSUE, Bugwood.org

Image: Curtis Utley, CSUE, Bugwood.org

by Stephen Marinkov, Communications major

Being from Ohio it is important for the natives to be educated on invasive species that can harm the state.  Thousand Cankers Disease is an invasive species caused by the fungus Geosmithia morbida.  The fungus is carried by the walnut twig beetle that bores into the trees, killing walnut and butternut trees in Ohio.

This fungus causes thousands of small cankers to form under the bark of the tree; the cankers eventually close up.  When this happens, nutrients and water intended for the branches and stem are cut off, killing the trees.
The Black walnut and butternut trees are most susceptible to the disease and natives should be informed of the symptoms.  Homeowners (?) should be aware of yellowing foliage where the leaves turn yellow and thinning in the upper crown of the infested tree.

Major spread of this disease is caused by human movement of wood products.  Natives need to be aware of the infected trees and limit the movement of potential infected trees.  The Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN) smart phone app is available as a free download.  This app contains images of Thousand Cankers Disease that users can look at to investigate possible infected trees.

As an Ohio native I want to spread awareness about invasive species that could harm this state.  If natives work together and combat diseases head on we can limit the deaths of so many trees.

More info > Ohioline Thousand Cankers Fact Sheet

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This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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