The Lead

Dept. of Ag: Thousand Cankers Quarantine lifted after 8 yrs.

By: - January 21, 2022 4:10 pm

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A quarantine that was in effect for eight years has been lifted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which said Friday that the disease affecting Pennsylvania’s Black Walnut trees is “no longer a threat.”

The disease, called Thousand Cankers, is caused by a fungus carried by Walnut Twig Beetles. When Walnut Twig Beetles burrow into the bark of walnut trees, it causes cankers to form that affects the distribution of nutrients and water throughout the tree, resulting in limb loss and eventually death. 

The quarantine established in August 2014, which “restricted the movement of materials from walnut trees, living or dead, including nursery stock, green lumber and firewood, as well as roots, branches, mulch and other debris,” was implemented to protect Eastern Black Walnut trees across Pennsylvania and reduce the threat of Thousand Cankers on the commonwealth’s $36 billion hardwoods industry. 

The quarantine applied to Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. The department said it will notify affected businesses in the area of the change this month.

“Quarantines are excellent tools to help protect our agriculture industry and our economy from disease and pests,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “When science demonstrates that the disease is no longer a threat, restrictions on commerce are no longer necessary. We remain vigilant against invasive species and disease threats, but the quarantine as a tool has done its job.”

The quarantine for another damaging pest – the Spotted Lanternfly – is still in effect in 34 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. 

A different kind of quarantine: state officials track spotted lanternflies in 8 more counties

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.

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