Posted By: Elissa Schuett

In collaboration with the US Forest Service and state forest health programs, the FEMC will be expanding a regional network of monitoring plots to track the spread and severity of Beech Leaf Disease (BLD). BLD is a foliar disease associated with a subspecies of Japanese nematode, Litylenchus crenatae. This disease has been documented in both mature and young American beech, with mortality often occurring following multiple years of infection. Oriental and European beech are also prone to infection. First detected in Ohio in 2012, BLD has rapidly expanded throughout the northeastern US and Canada. In 2020, BLD spread considerably throughout New York and Connecticut, with initial detections occurring in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The goal of this partnership is to share resources that can aid in detecting this new disease while expanding our regional detection efforts. A portion of FEMC plots with a strong component of American beech will be used to collect measurements of BLD and Beech Bark Disease severity, in addition to site characteristics that may be meaningful factors for disease. The US Forest Service is encouraging partners to use the Tree Health Survey app (available for iPhone and iPad) for reporting potential infections of BLD. For additional information on BLD, consider attending the USDA Forest Service Beech Leaf Disease Virtual Workshop, scheduled for April 15th, 2021.
– by Cameron Mcintire, USDA Forest Service