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Originally found in Arizona, TCD affects many types of walnut trees to varying degrees but is lethal to black walnuts, which often are grown in plantations in Indiana but also are common in the state's urban and rural forests. As of August 2010, this disease is not know to occur in the State of Indiana.
TCD is spread by walnut twig beetles carrying a newly identified fungus. Smaller than a pinhead, the beetles bore into walnut branches, feeding on the tree's tissues and depositing the fungus that creates a canker, or dead area, under the bark. Multiple feedings cause the formation of thousands of cankers under the bark and destroys the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Gradually, branches die, and then the entire tree.
Walnut trees affected by the disease typically die within two to three years after symptoms are noticed.