Thousand cankers disease, caused by the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis Blackman) and an associated fungal pathogen (Geosmithia morbida M. Kolarík, E. Freeland, C. Utley, and N. Tisserat), threatens the health and commercial use of eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra L.), one of the most economically valuable tree species in the United States. Effective phytosanitary measures are needed to reduce the possibility of spreading this insect and pathogen through wood movement. This study evaluated the efficacy of heat treatments and debarking to eliminate P. juglandis and G. morbida in J. nigra logs 4–18 cm in diameter and 30 cm in length. Infested logs were steam heated until various outer sapwood temperatures (60, 65, and 70°C in 2011; 36, 42, 48, 52, and 56°C in 2012) were maintained or exceeded for 30–40 min. In 2011, all heat treatments eliminated G. morbida from the bark, but logs were insufficiently colonized by P. juglandis to draw conclusions about treatment effects on the beetle. Debarking did not ensure elimination of the pathogen from the sapwood surface. In 2012, there was a negative effect of increasing temperature on P. juglandis emergence and G. morbida recovery. G. morbida did not survive in logs exposed to treatments in which minimum temperatures were 48°C or higher, and mean P. juglandis emergence decreased steadily to zero as treatment minimum temperature increased from 36 to 52°C. A minimum outer sapwood temperature of 56°C maintained for 40 min is effective for eliminating the thousand cankers disease vector and pathogen from walnut logs, and the current heat treatment schedule for the emerald ash borer (60°C core temperature for 60 min) is more than adequate for treating P. juglandis and G. morbida in walnut firewood.
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