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T&D > Programs Areas > Forest Health Protection > Early Detection of Cankers Disease Program Areas
Early Detection of the Causes of Thousand Cankers Disease in Black Walnut Trees

Image of the limb of a black walnunt tree that has cankers on it.
—Ned Tisserat, Colorado State University,

Project Description:

The black walnut tree population in the western United States is declining due to Thousand Cankers Disease.  Thousand Cankers Disease is caused by a canker producing fungus that is carried by the Walnut Twig Beetle.  The purpose of this project is to find or develop a technology to detect early signs of the Walnut Twig Beetle attack and Thousand Cankers Disease before the symptoms become readily visible and it is too late to save the tree.

Project Status:

MTDC is investigating the use of infrared cameras, electrical resistance measurements, and ultrasound to detect hidden tree damage and the presence of beetles.  MTDC is also investigating whether the Walnut Twig Beetle or the fungus it carries produces a chemical trace that could be detected.