What’s wrong with my tree? Thousand cankers disease

Thousand cankers disease affects black walnut trees

Did you know that Missouri has more black walnut trees than any other state? This important tree provides wood, edible nuts, and is valued as a shade tree. Thousand cankers disease (TCD) is a devasting fungal disease to this species of trees that is carried by tiny walnut twig beetles. When the tree is infected, a fungus (Geosmithia morbida) grows and produces cankers.

black walnut tree

Signs and symptoms of Thousand cankers disease

The signs and symptoms of TCD can be similar to other canker diseases, including:

  • Dark brown cankers under the bark
  • Signs of walnut twig beetles, like tunneling
  • “Bushy” sprouting of new growth under dead branches
  • Limb dieback
  • Crown foliage yellowing and wilting in midsummer

Missouri’s response to thousand cankers disease

Thankfully, this disease hasn’t been detected in Missouri as of 2017 but there is concern about its transport to the state from areas where it has been detected, like Illinois. With that in mind, education is the best line of defense as well as:

  • Using firewood and wood where it was purchased and not transporting it from areas where TCD is an issue.
  • Recognizing the disease compared to others that may have similar signs, like anthracnose.
  • Engaging in healthy tree care practices like mulching, pruning, and regular inspections to ensure a strong, healthy tree.
  • Planting resistant trees

At Hansen’s Tree Service, we are here to address any concerns you may have about the health of your trees. Our ISA Certified Arborists can advise as to best method of care for your specific tree and needs.

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