What is Beech Leaf Disease?

Beech leaf disease (BLD) is a newly discovered disease inflicting our native American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) trees and several non-native beech trees including European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Oriental Beech (Fagus orientalis). BLD was first discovered by Biologist John Pogacnik in Lake County in 2012. To date, BLD infestations have been discovered in nine Ohio counties as well as in localized areas across western Pennsylvannia, western New York, and Ontario, Canada. Currently, research is being conducted to determin the cause of BLD, but nothing has been identified. The ODNR Division of Forestry has received funding from the U.S. Forest Service to work with various partners within Ohio, other states and Canada to monitor the spread and document the impact of BLD to help inform research efforts and create management tools.

Here is a video of Biologist, John Pogacnik, at ground zero for the discovery of Beech Leaf Disease in Lake County Ohio discussing BLD and how he came to realize there was something effecting beech trees.

What are Symptoms of BLD?

Symptoms of BLD include dark striping or banding on otherwise healthy-looking leaves; shriveled, discolored or deformed leaves; and reduced leaf and bud production. Once infected, leaves opening in the spring will immediately show dark banding. Stripes are still visible on remaining leaves in the winter. Disease progression varies with tree size, but BLD appears to kill small trees within several years. No infected tree has ever been known to recover. BLD is not to be confused with beech blight aphids or eriophyid mites.

Click here for more information regarding BLD.

How Do I Report BLD?

ODNR urges Ohians to report BLD. Reports of BLD will be documented to inform future research and to monitor changes in forest composition and structure. Landowners in northeast Ohio are encouraged to report any signs of BLD and report healthy beech trees. Additionally, landowners are urged to avoid moving beech trees or tree parts to prevent BLD from potentially spreading to new areas.

To report BLD, contact ODNR Forest Health Program Administrator Tom Macy at thomas.macy@dnr.state.oh.us or use the BLD section of the NE Ohio Parks app available at parkapps.kent.edu.

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Typical dark striping on leaf due to BLD

About Our Parks

Our parks and staff are dedicated to education, enjoyment and preservation of Richland County's natural areas and inhabitants. Our goal is pursued by preserving natural areas for people to experience, and by providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn about the rich diversity of life and habitats in our county.

Our Location

Gorman Nature Center
2295 Lexington Avenue
Mansfield, Ohio 44907

Hours of Operation
Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(Closed Sunday-Monday and Federal Holidays. Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.)

419-884-FROG (3764)

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