Beach leaf disease (BLD)
Worry is spreading among scientists throughout the Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York region. A new disease is killing American beech trees. Beech leaf disease was first spotted in northeast Ohio in 2012 and, as of January 2019, has been spotted in 10 Ohio counties, eight Pennsylvania counties, one county in New York, and five counties in Ontario, Canada. Its rapid spread has led scientists to raise the alarm as they try to figure out the cause.
The American beech is an important component of our Northeastern ecosystem, providing food, shelter and habitat for numerous species. Losing such a valuable mainstay could have significant impacts for our region and impacts our own quality of life. Beech trees are part of the natural water filtration system that helps provide our region’s clean water. And species loss across an entire region means further reduction in carbon sequestration, increasing the ravages of climate change and global warming.
While much research remains to be done, the early indicators are that beech leaf disease could be pretty bad for the area.
For more on this developing situation, we encourage you to explore the following post from the website The Scientist: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/a-mysterious-disease-is-killing-beech-trees-65358
And for more, take in this webinar from Natural Areas Association (September 3, 2019), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJtSmVCUjuY
Beach leaf disease (BLD) Killing Trees in N.E.
Researchers watching the leaves turn in Ohio are growing alarmed. With past threats, including the emerald ash borer, people waited years while important native species were essentially wiped out.