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Gentry County Extension Expert Offers Advice on Black Walnut Disease

First it was the American chestnut, then it was American elm. Get ready to add eastern black walnut to the threatened and endangered species list, said a University of Missouri Extension state forestry specialist. A fungal infection called thousand cankers disease (TCD) has ravaged black walnut trees in a handful of western states over the last decade. In July, foresters discovered infected trees in Tennessee.

Unlike the western states, Missouri and Tennessee are native homes to the eastern black walnut tree, supporting extensive natural populations that could fuel an uncontrolled TCD outbreak in the eastern U.S., said Hank Stelzer, who discussed the disease at a recent field day at the MU Hundley-Whaley Research Center in Albany.

“Missouri has more black walnut trees than any other state within the species’ natural range,” he said.

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