Disease that kills walnut trees found in Loudon and Sevier counties

NASHVILLE (WATE) - A devastating tree disease is spreading in East Tennessee according to the state Department of Agriculture.

The agency announced Monday they had discovered the walnut tree killing disease called Thousand Cankers in Loudon and Sevier Counties.

Thousand Cankers Disease can kill a tree within two to three years. The two new counties affected are now under an emergency quarantine.

"We will continue to survey our forests and work to help slow the spread of the disease," said TDA Plant Certification Administrator Gray Haun in a release on Monday. "We are working with stakeholders to help educate citizens on the symptoms of TCD and how they can help."

Officials are asking people to not transport firewood across county lines and to not move firewood from outside the state.

The disease was discovered in Knox County back in August of 2010.   

Counties already under an emergency quarantine include Anderson, Blount, Knox and Union.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry estimates that 1.38 million black walnut trees in Tennessee's urban areas are potentially at risk from TCD.

The risk represents an estimated value loss of $1.37 billion.