EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2020 Num. article: 2020/202

Beech leaf disease found in Massachusetts and Rhode Island (US)

Beech leaf disease (EPPO Alert List) is a new disease of beech trees (e.g. Fagus grandifolia, Fagus sylvatica) which has increasingly been observed in forest and urban areas in Eastern USA and Canada since the 2010s. The disease was first reported on Fagus grandifolia in Ohio in 2012, and it rapidly spread to Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario (Canada) and Connecticut (EPPO RS 2018/178). It has been shown that a leaf nematode Litylenchus crenatae mccannii was associated with beech leaf disease, although it is still unsure whether other factors (including pathogens) could also play a role in the disease (EPPO RS 2020/082, 2020/083). Beech leaf disease damages beech foliage, leading to reduced vigour and eventually tree mortality.

During summer 2020, symptoms of beech leaf disease have been reported from two additional US States. In Massachusetts, beech leaf disease was first observed in June 2020 in the town of Plymouth (Plymouth county) and then in Worcester (Worcester county) and Blandford (Hampden county). In Rhode Island, beech leaf disease was first observed in June 2020 in the village of Ashaway (near Hopkinton). In both US states, the general public has been invited to report any sightings of beech leaf disease symptoms.



Government of Massachusetts. Mass.gov (undated) Beech Leaf Disease in Massachusetts. https://www.mass.gov/guides/beech-leaf-disease-in-massachusetts

Government of Rhode Island. RI.gov. Press Release (2020-07-13) DEM asks public to be aware of Beech Leaf Disease. https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38824

USDA National Invasive Species Information Center. What’s New. https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/whats-new