The metropolitan statistical area measured included Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, which consists of Collin, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise in Texas.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) officially confirmed a case of Thousand Cankers in Virginia. For several years, Thousand Cankers has been causing widespread decline and death of walnut trees in many Western states. This critical confirmation marks the disease’s first appearance east of Knoxville, Tenn., where it was detected in 2010.
The discovery was made in Richmond, Va., when two Bartlett Tree Experts arborists noticed decline and dieback symptoms consistent with the disease on a group of black walnuts on a client’s property.
According to the VDACS, Thousand Cankers is caused by a fungus that is vectored by the walnut twig beetle. Adult beetles bore through the bark and deposit eggs. As the larvae hatch, they tunnel through the tree, introducing the fungus and causing cankers under the bark. The result is branch dieback, decline and eventual death of the tree.
Upon observing signs of Thousand Cankers, arborists Greg Crews and Alan Jones enlisted the assistance of Bartlett’s Plant Diagnostic Clinic at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories. The plant pathologists and diagnostic staff at the clinic analyze more than 8,000 plant samples each year and are one of only two private diagnostic labs partnered with the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN).
“Knowing how important rapid detection and communication of the disease would be to help prevent its spread, we immediately contacted our Plant Diagnostic Clinic,” said Alan Jones, an arborist and division manager at Bartlett Tree Experts. “With their help in collecting samples from the declining trees, a positive identification was made quickly.”
Bartlett’s Plant Diagnostic Clinic worked closely with the VDACS to confirm the disease. As a result, the VDACS recently quarantined movement of walnut trees from Richmond and some neighboring counties in Virginia. Though it is possible that the disease will spread naturally, the quarantine will help prevent the artificial spread of Thousand Cankers, caused by transporting firewood, mulch or debris to uninfected areas.
This quarantine is a key step in protecting black walnut trees, an important native species of forest ecosystems in the Midwestern and Eastern U.S. As effective controls for the disease have not yet been developed, early detection and removal of infected trees is also recommended to limit spread. Property-owners concerned about their walnut trees should contact a certified arborist.
“Whether we’re helping one tree on a client property or working to protect a whole species, this is what tree care is all about.” said Eric Honeycutt, a plant pathologist at Bartlett’s Plant Diagnostic Clinic. “It’s our ability to apply expertise, science and technology to help in the preservation of trees.”
Ford is recalling more than a million pickup trucks because their gas tanks can fall off and cause fires.
The recall, announced Monday, covers 1.1 million F-150, F-250 and Lincoln Blackwood pickups. The models involved were sold in cold-weather states where road salt can cause straps metal straps holding up the tanks to rust. If the straps break, the tanks can hit the ground, rupture and catch fire.
Regulators began investigating the problem back in September. The defect has been blamed for eight fires, three of which spread to the rest of the truck. One person was injured, suffering first- and second-degree burns, Ford Motor Co. spokesman Wes Sherwood said.
The recall adds to the list of problems with the F-Series pickup, traditionally America's best-selling vehicle. The pickups have been involved in three recalls going back to 2008, involving millions of vehicles. Regulators have become more aggressive since being criticized last year for a slow response to Toyota's sudden acceleration problems.
The latest Ford pickup recall involves certain 1997 through 2004 Ford F-150 models, as well as some 1997 through 1999 model year F-250 pickups. Also affected are Lincoln Blackwood pickups from the 2002 and 2003 model years.
Ford sold more than 264,000 of the F-Series trucks during the first six months of this year.
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The Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis list (APHIS-2011-0072) of plants and flowers has been published by USDA for public comment. The NAPPRA list are those plants which could be prohibited for import into the U.S. until a pest risk analysis has been completed for them.
Society of American Florists said the list is another step in APHIS’ efforts to revise the Quarantine 37 regulations. The list includes 41 taxa of plants that may be quarantine pests themselves (invasive), and 107 taxa that could be hosts of 13 quarantine pests and are therefore suggested for addition to the list.
APHIS has prepared data sheets that detail the scientific evidence it evaluated in making the determination that the taxa are quarantine pests or hosts of quarantine pests. The data sheets are available to the public for review and comment.
SAF will formally comment on the list and is urging growers and businesses to review the list and comment individually and to advise SAF of any specific concerns. Comments are due Sept. 26, 2011.