Media Advisory: Ohio State Experts Available to Talk About Walnut Twig Beetle, Thousand Cankers Disease

Writer(s): 
Walnut twig beetles

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Department of Agriculture last week announced more detections of the walnut twig beetle in Butler County in southwest Ohio. The insect carries a fungus that causes deadly, incurable thousand cankers disease (TCD) in walnut trees, although at this point the disease itself hasn’t been found in the county.

The following experts in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are available to talk to reporters about the beetle, the disease and the potential effects in Ohio:

  • Dan Herms is a professor in the Department of Entomology. He processed the samples that first revealed the insect’s presence in Butler County. He conducts research and outreach programs on invasive tree pests, including, recently, the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle. Wooster, 330-202-3506, herms.2@osu.edu.
  • Cindy Meyer is an agriculture and natural resources educator in Ohio State University Extension’s Butler County office. She works with woodland owners and sawmill operators, among others, in the affected area. 513-887-3722, meyer.842@osu.edu.
  • Amy Stone is an urban and consumer horticulture educator in OSU Extension’s Lucas County office. She conducts outreach and engagement programs on invasive species around Ohio, in part as coordinator of Ohio State’s Emerald Ash Borer Outreach Team. Toledo, 419-213-4254, stone.91@osu.edu.
  • Kathy Smith is OSU Extension’s forestry program director. She leads Extension’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, conducts outreach and engagement programs on invasive species throughout Ohio, and can talk about TCD’s potential impact on Ohio’s forests. Columbus, 614-688-3136, smith.81@osu.edu.
  • Eric McConnell is an assistant professor and OSU Extension specialist in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. He has done research estimating the economic impact of TCD and other invasive species in Ohio and can talk about TCD’s potential economic impact on Ohio’s forest industry. Columbus, 614-292-9838, mcconnell.213@osu.edu.

The walnut twig beetle, which is currently in 12 other states, was first found in Ohio at a single location in Butler County in late 2012. It so far hasn’t been detected in any other county in the state. ODA has now added Butler County to a list of national TCD quarantine areas.

OSU Extension offers a free fact sheet on thousand cankers disease at http://go.osu.edu/VDX.

Stone, Smith and colleagues last year helped produce a free wallet-size TCD identification card. Details on how to get it are at http://go.osu.edu/Qrg.

The team also recently released a free smartphone app that allows users to report the walnut twig beetle and other invasive species to researchers. Details, including download instructions, are at http://go.osu.edu/GLEDN, http://go.osu.edu/Qrj and http://go.osu.edu/VCn.

OSU Extension is the college’s statewide outreach arm. Many of the experts in the college also hold appointments with CFAES’s research arm, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

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For more information contact: 
Kurt Knebusch
330-263-3776
Source(s): 

Kathy Smith
smith.81@osu.edu
614-688-3136