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First Report of Beech Leaf Disease

Wednesday, November 20, 2019  
Posted by: Mary Ann Turner
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CAES Announces First Report of

Beech Leaf Disease

in Greenwich, New Canaan, and Stamford, CT

New Haven, CT – Scientists from The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) have identified Beech Leaf Disease (BLD) on American beeches (Fagus grandifolia) at three locations in Greenwich, New Canaan, and Stamford, CT.


This disease, which can kill trees within seven years of detection, was first discovered in 2012 in Ohio, followed in subsequent years by detections in Pennsylvania, western New York, and Ontario, Canada. With surveys underway to assess the extent of the disease in CT, BLD appears currently to be limited to Greenwich, New Canaan, and Stamford.



Symptomatic leaves collected from these sites tested positive for the newly described nematode, Litylenchus crenatae, subspecies mccannii, which was confirmed in July of this year to be the causal agent of BLD. The nematode appears to cause disease on only F. grandifolia and F. sylvatica (European beech). Disease development, transmission, and control are the subjects of ongoing studies.

The symptoms on beech foliage, best observed from below looking up into the canopy, are characterized by dark striping between leaf veins, as pictured.


Members of the public are encouraged to report any findings of similar symptoms on beech to CAES scientists Robert Marra  or James LaMondia

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