Neither the Emerald Ash Borer nor the Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut has been found in Kansas. The Kansas Department of Agriculture would like to keep it that way.
The department, along with the Kansas Forest Service, will sponsor two Pest Detector Workshops for Kansans who want training to learn to identify these pests. The trainings will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 8 in Topeka and on March 14 in Hutchinson.
"Both of these pests would pose significant risk to Kansas trees if introduced into the state," said Laurinda Ramonda State Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator with the Kansas Department of Agriculture Plant Protection and Weed Control Program. "While avoiding introduction is the ultimate goal, the best way to limit the spread of Emerald Ash Borer or Thousand Cankers if it does come to Kansas is early detection."
The workshops will cover Emerald Ash Borer and Thousand Cankers Disease identification, as well as information on regulations, sample submission, public interaction, disposal and other invasive pests. Participants will also participate in a hands-on demonstration.
Emerald Ash Borer is a pest of ash trees native to Asia. It was first discovered in North America in 2002 in the Detroit, Mich. area. Since then, it has killed millions of ash trees and caused thousands more to be removed to slow its spread. While it has yet to be found in Kansas, all ash trees native to the state are susceptible to infestation by the emerald ash borer. Financially, the United States risks an economic loss of $20 billion to $60 billion because of this pest. For more information about the Emerald Ash Borer, visit http://www.ksda.gov/plant_protection/content/379.
Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut is a progressive disease that kills a tree within two to three years after initial infection. The disease-causing fungus is transmitted by a small twig beetle. Thousand Cankers poses a serious problem to the health of the black walnut trees in the nearby states of Colorado and New Mexico. Walnut trees are important because of their nut crop and the desired wood for various wood products. For more information about Thousand Cankers, visit http://www.ksda.gov/plant_protection/content/350/cid/1615.
The workshops are open to anyone who wants to assist with finding pests of concern in Kansas. However, registrations must be submitted prior to event in order to attend. To register, contact Cathy with the Kansas Forest Service at 785-532-3301 or [email protected]. Interested individuals may also find the registration form online at http://www.kansasforests.org/calendar/1st%20detector%20training%20brochure%202.pdf.