EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 10 - 2021 Num. article: 2021/224

First reports of beech leaf disease in New Jersey, West Virginia and Virginia (US)

In North America, beech leaf disease (EPPO Alert List) was first reported in 2012 in Lake County, Ohio (US) on American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia) and recent research has shown that a foliar nematode Litylenchus crenatae mccannii was involved in this emerging disease (EPPO RS 2021/067). Since 2012, beech leaf disease has been reported from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, and Ontario (Canada). 

In 2020, it was also found in New Jersey and West Virginia (Martin & Volk, 2021). In June 2021, symptoms of beech leaf disease were observed on F. grandifolia trees in Prince William Forest Park, Virginia (Kantor et al., 2021). Affected leaves contained nematode females, males and juveniles resembling those of Litylenchus crenatae mccannii. Molecular tests confirmed the identity of the nematode. It is noted that this new record in Virginia (more than 400 km away from the recent detection in West Virginia) currently represents the southernmost detection of beech leaf disease and L. crenatae mccannii in North America.


Kantor M, Handoo Z, Carta L, Li S (2021) First report of beech leaf disease, caused by Litylenchus crenatae mccannii, on American beech (Fagus grandifolia) in Virginia. Plant Disease (first view). https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-08-21-1713-PDN

Martin DK, Volk D (2021-01) Pest Alert. Beech Leaf Disease. USDA, Forest Service. Eastern Region State and Private Forestry (R9–PR–001–21), 2 pp. http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Beech-Leaf-Disease-Pest-Alert.pdf